IRVINE, Calif. — No. 1 Oklahoma collected its third top-25 win in four games on Saturday night with a 5-4 victory over No. 14/17 Washington at the Mark Campbell Invitational in Irvine.
Junior Nicole May proved to be the difference-maker for the Sooners (4-0), entering in relief in the fourth and pitching 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and three walks to go with eight strikeouts. The righty left the bases loaded in the fourth and sealed the win with two runners in scoring position in the seventh.
Both teams started hot with Washington (3-1) taking a 1-0 lead at the top of the first via a Madison Huskey solo home run off OU starting pitcher Jordy Bahl. It was the first homer the sophomore All-American has given up in 2023 and just the fifth of her young career.
OU answered with three runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead. After the Sooners loaded the bases via walk and a pair of base hits, sophomore Cydney Sanders came through with a 2-RBI single up the middle to score Jayda Coleman and Tiare Jennings. Senior captain Grace Lyons followed Sanders’ base hit with a squeeze bunt that scored Haley Lee from third to make it 3-1 OU after one.
After a scoreless second, Huskey chipped in her second RBI of the contest in the third with a single to left field to bring UW within one run. Oklahoma junior Alyssa Brito answered for the Sooners in the bottom half of the inning, blasting her first home run of 2023 on a 2-RBI blast to left field that scored Lyons.
Washington punched back in the fourth with a 2-RBI single from Huskey, her third and fourth RBIs of the game.
May entered following the Huskey bases-clearing single and retired 10 of the 14 batters she faced, eight coming by way of the K, to earn the fourth save of her career. Bahl was credited with her second win of the season, pitching 3.2 innings and surrendering four runs on four hits and six walks to go with four strikeouts.
Brito and Sanders paced OU with two runs batted in each, while eight Sooners recorded a hit in the contest.
The Sooners close opening weekend with a 2 p.m. CT game vs. San Jose State on Sunday in Irvine. The game can be seen on FloSoftball ($) and heard on the radio via 1560 The Franchise 2 in Oklahoma and nationwide on the TuneIn app.
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