Playing in its final non-conference game of the regular season, the No.1 Oklahoma softball team made quick work of North Texas, winning 12-1 in six innings on Tuesday afternoon at Lovelace Stadium.
With the victory over the Mean Green (22-21), Oklahoma is now 40-3 on the season, reaching the 40-win total in fewer games than any team in program history. Previously, it took the 2007 squad 44 games to accomplish the feat.
Making up a game that was postponed on April 10 in Norman due to rain, Oklahoma jumped all over North Texas on Tuesday, scoring three runs in the first inning and four more runs in the second.
Things started early for OU as sophomores Lauren Chamberlain and Georgia Casey led off the game with back-to-back walks. Two batters later, senior Keilani Ricketts singled to center field to score Chamberlain and move Casey to third.
Ricketts stole second to put two in scoring position before fellow senior Jessica Shults put down a squeeze bunt hit to plate Casey. The scoring concluded in the frame when junior Brittany Williams grounded out to second to drive home Ricketts.
Sophomore Callie Parsons led off the second inning with a single to center field and moved up to second when senior Brianna Turang reached on an error by first baseman Danielle Hoff. Two batters later Casey singled to center field to bring Parsons around to score.
With the wind blowing strongly out to left field, Pendley followed Casey and drilled a three-run blast. It was her 35th career homer and 16th this season, and it gave OU a 7-1 advantage.
In the fifth inning, Parsons lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Ricketts, who led off the inning with a walk. Parsons' second sac fly of the season put OU on top 8-1.
A four-run sixth inning brought the run-rule into effect.
Chamberlain led off the stanza by reaching on an error by shortstop Brooke Foster. Casey followed with a walk, while Pendley drove home Chamberlain with a single. Both Casey and Pendley moved up on the throw home, and the Sooners took advantage when Ricketts grounded out to second and Casey scored to make it 10-1.
With Pendley now on third, Shults extended her school and Big 12 record by hitting her 61st career home run. She turned on a full-count pitch and crushed her seventh of the year to right field. It was also Shults' 100th career extra-base hit, breaking a tie with Amber Flores (2007-10) for the most in OU history.
Ricketts got the win for OU, sending her record to 23-1. The lefthander struck out six, walked one and allowed just three hits, one of which was a solo home run by Jordan Terry in the second inning.
Senior Michelle Gascoigne relieved Ricketts and pitched the final two innings. She was effective like Ricketts, striking out two and allowing just one hit.
OU returns to Big 12 play this weekend when Iowa State visits Norman for a three-game series. Friday night's game is sold out, and limited tickets remain for the rest of the weekend. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday night, while Saturday and Sunday are both scheduled to begin at noon.