It was cold, it was windy and Oklahoma’s bats still couldn’t be stopped Thursday at Marita Hynes Field.

The Sooners improved to 8-1 on the season with a doubleheader sweep of North Dakota State in the first round of the Nike Classic and picked up their seventh and eighth consecutive victories.

OU run-ruled the Bison 9-0 after five innings in the first game, then won the nightcap, which was called after five due to inclement conditions, 7-2.

“(North Dakota State) got here about 9:30 this morning, and they agreed to still play us today,” OU coach Patty Gasso said. “It was really cold out there. It was really good of them to still come and play us.”

Kristin Vesely, who usually bats in the No. 2 spot for OU, was moved to the three hole Thursday, and it paid off as the Sooners’ leading hitter went 4-for-5 with four runs and four RBIs in the two games.

“We’ve been showing a little bit of our potential, but we still haven’t seen ourselves at full force,” Vesely said. “A lot of different people in our lineup can step up and go at any time. I’m seeing the ball decently right now, and, in the three spot, I just get a chance to swing it hard and see what happens.”

Freshman catcher Samantha Ricketts continued her good hitting for OU, going 3-for-5 with four RBIs in the doubleheader.

The pitchers even did well despite the unusual conditions.

Freshman Morgan Hudsonpillar battled control problems in the first game, but improved to 3-0 on the season after pitching 31/3 innings and giving up two hits and a walk.

Nicole Denes, who has been the star of the Sooner staff this season, finished the first game and pitched 12/3 innings, walking and striking out one.

Stacy Braddock improved to 3-1 in the nightcap on three innings pitched. She gave up two runs on two hits and one walk.

Jadyn Smith finished the second game off, allowing three hits and striking out two in two innings.

“Our pitchers did a nice job considering the conditions,” Gasso said. “They really had trouble staying warm out there and staying loose. That wasn’t a good day for pitchers.”

The Sooners will play the second and third rounds of the Nike Classic in McKinney, Texas today and Saturday.

At 12:15 today, OU will take on Indiana in the first game of a doubleheader.

Saturday, OU will face Nevada for one game at 12:15 p.m.

The next OU home game will be March 2 when the Sooners host Oklahoma City University.

Jeff Johncox


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