Sooner Softball Team Takes Game 1 of Super Regional

Paola Ditto
Mag 28, 2017

For the second straight year, the Oklahoma Sooners have ended Auburn's softball season.

Auburn could only look on as the Sooners celebrated, tears welling in the eyes of many of its players.

She struck out 14 Tigers, a postseason career high, in her four-hit complete-game shutout, sending No. 10 Oklahoma to a 2-0 Game 1 win at the Auburn Super Regional Friday. "I think we underachieved", Auburn head coach Clint Myers said.

"This is one of the best games she's thrown all season", Gasso said. "I'm disappointed, and our girls are too, because I thought our season would be prolonged".

It was Nicole Pendley who again played the hero for the Sooners (56-9). Nicole Pendley hit a one-run ground-rule double in the sixth inning over the left field fence.

"I can always hit a better spot".

Two runs were not enough for the Tigers on Saturday afternoon at Jane. "She knew it was coming inside, and she turned on it".

"The team at the end that is hottest wins", she said.

"They keep picking each other up and that's something that becomes nearly bigger than the game to see them work for each other that way", Gasso said.

After walking her twice, Parker struck out Wallace on three pitches with Kasey Cooper on third base and two outs in the fifth inning.

"I think that's one thing I'm most pleased about".

"I'm irritated if you can't tell", Wallace said.

The Tigers face a win-or-go-home scenario against the Sooners Saturday.

She did that and then some, and her second-inning blast provided all the help needed by a Sooners' pitching staff that was dominant for the second time in as many days.

"It's amusing, because the last few years, she's gotten the best of me", Cooper said of Lowary. "I wanted to really allow her to challenge and come in and kind of set a tone. I was just trying to make my pitches".

Despite the early deficit, the Tigers would battle back. When left fielder Morgan Podany cut in front of Draper in center field and knocked the ball out of her glove, it put Knighten on second base with a leadoff double in the sixth inning. One batter later, Pendley smashed a three-run shot to right to make it 3-0. Kyla Walker became the program's single-season hits leader, hitting her 82nd and 83rd hits of the 2017 season.

"They outplayed us today and the plan is to outplay them tomorrow", Myers said. We did. When you're playing in these big games, you can't make mistakes. When we get out here in August, that's the goal, because you can't play for a championship unless you're in Oklahoma City that first week of June.

"I am excited", said Martin, who added, "They are a tough team". I still believe that this is a good team. "Mariah did a good job of what we asked her to do".

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