OU softball opens 2024 in style

On3 imageby:Bob Przybylo02/08/24

BPrzybylo

OU softball needed just one inning to let the college softball world know it was ready for the 2024 season.

The three-time defending national champions struck early and often and opened up its season in style Thursday at the Puerto Vallarta College Classic in Mexico.

The Sooners took care of Utah Valley 13-0 in the first run-rule of the season. Then OU was able to come right back and down top-10 Duke 3-0 to close out the day.

Give two more wins to head coach Patty Gasso, and the winning streak is now 55 games.

OU 3, No. 9 Duke 0

It was time for Kelly Maxwell to open her career as a Sooner. It couldn’t have worked out better in five scoreless innings.

Maxwell allowed one hit, one walk and struck out two. She retired 11 batters in a row.

Tiare Jennings got the Sooners on the board with a solo home run as OU scored three in the third to give some breathing room.

Karlie Keeney pitched the final two frames. She had to work out of a jam to close it out, but Keeney did just that. A three-hit shutout combined by Maxwell and Keeney.

OU 13, Utah Valley 0 (5)

Welcome to college softball, Kasidi Pickering. The true freshman needed just one swing to introduce herself to the softball world.

Pickering smashed a grand slam in the first inning to set the tone for the day in Mexico. It was part of a five-RBI day in her first game.

Senior Jayda Coleman added a two-run double as OU scored its 13 runs in the initial three innings. Alyssa Brito and Kinzie Hansen had the team’s first back-to-back home runs of the season.

Nicole May started in the circle. She pitched three innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Kierston Deal and Paytn Monticelli also threw a frame.

Up next

The Classic continues with a late one Friday. OU takes on another ranked squad in Washington at 8:30 p.m. The three-day event concludes Saturday afternoon.

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