Three pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout as No. 22/16 Oklahoma (19-8) breezed to an 8-0, six-inning victory Tuesday night over Bradley. It was OU's third shutout of the season and the team's 10th win via run-rule.
It was the first ever meeting between OU and Bradley, but the Sooners picked up their 13th straight win over a Missouri Valley Conference team and their 36th in their past 37 contests against MVC schools.
In addition, with the win the Sooners have now recorded 79 run-rule victories since the last time they were run-ruled on March 28, 2009.
Sophomore Kelsey Stevens made her 18th start of the season and pitched the first three innings as she struck out five and allowed three. Junior Georgia Casey came on in relief to get the first two outs of the fourth inning before swapping places with third baseman Shelby Pendley, who got the final out of the fourth in her second career appearance.
Pendley was back in the circle for the fifth inning and was perfect. On the day, she threw 1.1 innings with a strikeout, no walks, no hits and no runs allowed. On the year, she has thrown 3.1 innings with no hits or runs allowed, two strikeouts and three walks.
Casey was inserted back into the game for the sixth inning. She gave up a leadoff single but came back to retire the next three batters. In total, she threw 1.2 innings with two strikeouts, no walks and one hit allowed as her record improved to 2-2 on the season.
Offensively, Oklahoma took advantage of three Bradley errors in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead.
After senior Brittany Williams drew a one-out walk, fellow senior Destinee Martinez put down a sacrifice bunt to move her to second base, but the throw from Braves pitcher Madeline Lynch Crumrine was wide of first base, enabling Williams to take third. Martinez then stole second to put a pair in scoring position.
Junior Callie Parsons followed with a chopper up the first base line. It was fielded cleanly by Alyson Clemente, but she failed to tag Parsons before throwing home to try to nab Williams. The throw was late and Williams scored the game's opening run.
Later in the frame with the bases loaded and two outs, Casey hit a chopper to third base that was misplayed by Kendall Duffy which allowed an additional run to score.
Bradley threatened to tie the game in the third inning as it put a pair of runners into scoring position, but Pendley made a terrific diving catch on a line drive at third base to end the inning.
Fittingly, it was Pendley who led off the bottom of the inning and one pitch after her defensive gem she launched a solo home run to center field. It was her eighth homer of the year, and it extended her hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
Two batters later, Williams walked and took second as Martinez reached on a fielder's choice. After a strikeout, sophomore Leslie Miller capitalized on a hanging offspeed pitch and sent a line-drive home run into the bleachers in left field. It was her second of the season and third of her career. The three runs driven in for the game established a new career high for the Blanchard, Okla., native.
After two scoreless innings, Oklahoma closed out the contest in the sixth.
With runners on the corners and two out, Pendley walked to fill the bases. Sophomore Whitney Ellis pulled a single through the left side to make it 6-0, while Williams hit a high chopper to second base for the game-winning single.
Up next for Oklahoma is a visit from LSU, which is receiving votes in both polls. The two-game series begins Saturday at 2 p.m.