Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso wasn’t joking Wednesday, when she said, “there’s no breath for an opposing pitcher through this lineup.”
The Sooners opened their 2021 season at the Miner Invitational in El Paso, Texas, where they set an NCAA record and won in suffocating fashion over UTEP.
Gasso’s group crushed a single-game record 13 home runs en route to a 29-0 victory. The previous record was 10, shared by UTSA (2004) and BYU (2008).
OU, which hasn’t scored more than 20 runs in a game since a 2017 triumph of Iowa State, already had four of its 13 by the time UTEP’s pitching staff faced its seventh batter.
OU freshman Tiare Jennings, California’s Gatorade Softball Player of the Year for her senior season at St. Anthony’s High School, started the scoring spree with a two-run homer to right field in her first collegiate at-bat. She would have two more by the end of the blowout win.
OU sophomore Kinzie Hansen, who followed Jennings in the lineup, then hit a first-inning bomb to center field before the batter after her, Jocelyn Alo, took another one beyond the right-field wall.
Jana Johns, a senior transfer from South Carolina, singled up the middle to leave the home-run streak at three consecutive OU hitters. The Sooners’ next batter after Johns, senior Nicole Mendes, blasted a two-run home run to center to keep the Sooners rolling.
OU finished with 13 runs in the first, which included five home runs, the final coming from Grace Lyons.
Lyons added two more in the contest, sending a solo shot to center field as OU’s leadoff hitter in the second. Her third came in the fourth frame, plating Mackenzie Donihoo in the process and joining Jennings in the home-run hat trick club.
Both Hansen and Mendes scored second home runs, while Donihoo and Jayda Coleman added OU’s two other homers.
OU senior Giselle Juarez easily grabbed the win, striking out six and not allowing any hits in three innings worked. OU sophomore Olivia Rains relieved Juarez in the fourth and fifth innings, allowing two hits but sustaining the shutout.
OU 9, ACU 0
Oklahoma wasn’t quite as historically dominant in its second game Thursday but managed a 9-0 rout of Abilene Christian in five innings.
Lyons, Jennings and Alo added to their monster days, each driving in a home run. Alo also drew an RBI walk to plate Coleman, who would later post a two-run double to score Rylie Boone and Mendes.
Freshman pitcher Nicole May received her first start and earned her first win of her OU career against the Wildcats. She struck out three batters and didn’t allow any hits in four innings pitched. OU’s Macy McAdoo checked in for a inning, surrendering one hit and striking out two in the win.
OU faces Abilene Christian at 11 a.m. and UTEP at 4 p.m. today to close the Miner Invitational. Both games will be available on KEBC-AM 1560 and to stream on www.soonersports.tv.