Originally Published: Feb 17, 2010 5:20 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
NORMAN, Oklahoma – The Oklahoma softball team won its home opener Wednesday with a dominant 9-1 victory in shortened time over St. Gregory’s.
St. Gregory’s took an early lead thanks to a run in the top of the first inning, but the Sooners (3-1) quickly responded and left the Cavaliers in the dust.
OU scored in each of the first four innings, including a four-run third inning. Meanwhile, starting pitcher Michelle Gascoigne did not give up another run before leaving in the fourth inning. The Sooners’ big lead resulted in the game being called early because of the NCAA’s mercy rule.
By rule, if a team is winning by eight or more runs after five innings, the game ends. Because the Sooners were up by eight after the top of the fifth, the bottom of the inning became unnecessary.
The top of the order contributed the majority of OU’s offense. Chana’e Jones, Amber Flores and Jessica Shults – the Sooners’ two, three and four hitters, respectively – combined to drive in seven of the team’s nine runs.
Shults’ two RBI came on two home runs, and Flores added another long ball. Gascoigne earned the win after giving up two hits in 3.1 innings and striking out five batters.
The Sooners started their season by winning two out of three games at the National Collegiate Softball Invitational in Clermont, Florida. Wednesday’s game against St. Gregory’s marked a short break before OU hits the road again to take part in two more tournaments, the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic and Cathedral City Classic.
The Sooners’ next return to Norman will come at 6 p.m. March 3 when they host Tulsa.
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