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March 24, 2014

Pendley delivers clutch performance in circle for Sooners

NORMAN — When Shelby Pendley transferred to Oklahoma from Arizona, she became one more big bat in an already explosive lineup.

Now, one season after earning Big 12 Player of the Year honors for her prowess at the plate, Pendley has been asked to prop up the Sooner efforts in the circle.

Entering Sunday’s game against LSU, Pendley had already become a bit of a regular reliever. Now, she has her first victory. And, though not in conventional form, she absolutely earned it.

The Sooners stopped LSU 3-2 Sunday afternoon at Marita Hynes Field, making it a weekend sweep of the Tigers, with both victories by a single run.

Pendley came on with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning. All the game’s runs had already been scored, though neither the Sooners nor the Tigers knew that.

Pendey first fanned Blanka Bell. Then, though the count went from 0-2 to full, she got Sahvanna Jaquish swinging. Then she blanked the Tigers over the next two frames.

In seven innings of circle work this season, Pendley’s earned run average remains a perfect 0.00. Also, once again, Pendley was pretty good at the plate, too, going 2 for 2 and scoring a run, and playing a role in OU’s three-run third inning.

Georgia Casey opened the frame with a double and, after Destinee Martinez flied out, Pendley walked. Sooner coach Patty Gasso then called for a double steal and a throwing error by Jaquish, LSU’s catcher, allowed Casey to cross. 

Sooner catcher Whitney Ellis then fouled out, before a double from Brittany Williams brought Pendley home. Erin Miller then reached base on a throwing error that allowed Ellis to score.

Kelsey Stevens started in the circle for OU. Her walks were down, but five LSU hits and a single walk against four strikeouts still added up to two earned runs and three inherited baserunners when Pendley entered.

The Sooners moved to 21-8 on the season, while the Tigers fell to 19-12.

OU gets back on the diamond when North Texas visits Marita Hynes Field at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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