Oklahoma v Louisiana-MonroeMarch 6, 2021

Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo hits the ball during the Sooners’ game against Louisiana-Monroe on March 6 at Marita Hynes Field.

There wasn’t a question as the ball left Jocelyn Alo’s bat in the bottom of the fourth inning against Louisiana-Monroe that it was going out of the park.

“That’ll do it,” a fan in the stands at Marita Hynes Field let out as the ball went flying over the centerfield fence. The home run put No. 1 Oklahoma (15-0) over the edge for a run-rule win. Sophomore pinch hitter Kinzie Hansen followed Alo’s lead with a solo shot of her own in the 9-0 win over ULM.

The solo blast against ULM moved Alo up in the OU record books. It was her 12th home run of the season — ranking her No. 1 in the NCAA. It was also the 66th homer of her career as a Sooner, moving her up to second in career home runs in program history. Alo is now 29 home runs behind Lauren Chamberlain who holds 95 career runs as a Sooner.

“Never surprised how far she can hit it,” OU coach Patty Gasso said of Alo’s new milestone. “Maybe a little bit of a surprise of how often she’s hitting them. I just don’t want her to get caught up in any kind of races. That is a problem for anyone when they’re chasing something.

“I don’t want her to chase. I want her to stay very team oriented.”

The Sooners put up seven runs in the third inning against ULM (3-10), and Alo brought in the first two runs of the scoring frenzy, and game, on a deep sacrifice-fly. Her power was obvious every time she swung the bat.

“I enjoy watching her hit every time she comes to the plate,” Gasso said. “She’s in probably the best place she’s been at mentally and physically since she arrived here.”

Tiare Jennings, Grace Lyons, Taylon Snow and Lynnsie Elam all hit in runs in OU’s 11th run-rule win of the season.

Alo’s homer against the Warhawks was her second of the day, after she hit a blast in the fifth inning against Missouri (14-3) earlier in the afternoon. The senior’s blast wound up being the game winning run for the No. 1 Sooners’ in their 5-2 win over the No. 18 Tigers.

The Hauula, Hawaii, native doesn’t try to hit home runs when she steps up to the plate, she just wants to hit the ball hard. Right now, her focus is competing one every pitch and playing within her game.

“I’m just thankful to be here and thankful to be playing the game that we love,” Alo said.

Ranked opponent

OU’s game against No. 18 Missouri was just its second against a ranked opponent this season.

Senior pitcher Giselle Juarez started in the circle for the Sooners. On Saturday, she threw a complete game against the Tigers, finishing with 11 strikeouts, a new season high for her. She also gave up no walks, three hits and two earned runs.

Playing a ranked opponent at home this early in the season was important for the Sooners, who have only faced a ranked opponent once before this season. OU beat then-No. 11 ranked Arizona State 5-3 in Tempe on Feb. 26.

Getting in quality wins early will help OU when the RPI rankings come out later this month.

“A lot of teams are struggling just to get good, quality games,” Gasso said. “So to get Missouri down here was a big deal for us and we just want to play them well. We want to play teams that make us better, and Missouri is a team that’s going to make us better.”

The Sooners will see the Tigers again tomorrow, and Gasso is hoping OU can produce the same result against the high-quality opponent.

“The goal here is to make sure they [OU] come out the same way tomorrow,” Gasso said.

Up next

OU finishes out the Courtyard Marriott Tournament on Sunday with games against Missouri at 12:30 p.m. and Sam Houston State at 5:30 p.m. The Sooners beat the Bearkats 7-0 in their home opener on Friday night.

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