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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

OU Softball Crushes Louisiana Tech

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A five-run first inning and a pair of home runs by sophomore Whitney Ellis carried No. 19/13 Oklahoma (14-6) to an 11-3, six-inning victory over Louisiana Tech (8-11) Tuesday at Marita Hynes Stadium.

It was the first multi-home run game for Ellis as she hit a three-run homer in the first and a walk-off, two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth. She finished 3-4 at the plate, establishing a career high in hits, runs scored (3), RBI (5) and home runs (2).

"I would say something's clicked for me," Ellis said. "I've been putting my work in and getting my swing right. I feel like I'm seeing the ball finally. I feel like it's coming in like a beach ball right now so that's good."

Oklahoma jumped out early against the Lady Techsters, registering five hits and five runs before the first out was recorded in the bottom of the first.

Sophomore Erin Miller led off with a single through the left side and moved to third as junior Lauren Chamberlain went the opposite way on a double. Junior Shelby Pendley followed with an RBI single back up the middle to score two.

Junior Georgia Casey followed with a single up the middle to keep the hot start going and Ellis unleashed her third home run of the season into the bleachers in left field to push the lead to 5-0.

Louisiana Tech got on the board in the third inning when starting pitcher Bianca Duran helped her own cause with an RBI double to the gap in right center to make it 5-1.

Oklahoma manufactured a run in the third inning to push the lead back to five runs.

Ellis led off with a single through the left side and stole second. A groundout from junior Callie Parsons moved Ellis to third, and senior Brittany Williams provided the clutch hit with a two-out single into left field to bring Ellis home.

Pauline Tufi took the first pitch of the fourth inning for a home run to make it 6-2, but Casey countered in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run homer of her own to make it 8-2. It was Casey's team-best sixth long ball of the year as she 2-3 on the day with two runs scored, a walk and two RBI.

The Lady Techsters got their third and final run in the top of the fifth, but for the third inning in a row the Sooners answered in the bottom of the frame as sophomore Kady Self registered the first home run of her career to make the game 9-3 in OU's favor.

Oklahoma ended the game early in the sixth inning, recording its seventh run-rule win of the year.

Casey walked with one out and was pinch run for by freshman Macey Hatfield. After a foul popup was misplayed by catcher Alayna Kipp, Ellis capitalized on the error with a line-drive shot off the back of the bleachers in left field for her second home run of the game and fourth of the season.

The win was given to sophomore Kelsey Stevens who pitched her sixth complete game of the season to improve her record to 9-3. She struck out eight batters and allowed three runs on sixth hits and four walks.

The Sooners return to action this weekend with four games this weekend at the Courtyard Marriott Tournament in Norman. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Friday against Western Illinois.

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