Sooner Softball: Romero, Lopez Sweep Weekly Conference Awards
NORMAN, Oklahoma - Oklahoma swept the weekly awards handed out by the Big 12 Wednesday as sophomore Sydney Romero was named the conference’s Player of the Week and freshman Mariah Lopez was tabbed Big 12 Pitcher of the Week.
Romero has three home runs this year, all of which came within the last week. Romero led Oklahoma and the Big 12 in home runs (3) and total bases (20) this past week while tying for the team lead in runs (8) and finishing second in average (.423) and hits (11). She hit safely in all seven games and is currently riding a career-long 14-game hit streak.
Romero’s week started in Long Beach where was 1-3 with a run scored against No. 5/4 Arizona before connecting on her first home run of the year in a win at Long Beach State. She picked up her second three-hit game of the year with two runs and two RBI against UC Santa Barbara, including another home run. Two games later, she homered for the third time in four games with a solo shot against Cal Poly ace Sierra Hyland, who had given up just three home runs in 98.0 innings entering the contest.
The win was the second of Romero’s career, also picking up Player of the Week honors on May 18 of last year. For Lopez, it was the first honor of her young career.
Lopez threw her first career no-hitter and recorded her first save last week in five appearances during Oklahoma’s trip to California.
Against Long Beach State, Lopez came one batter away from a perfect game as the lone baserunner she allowed was a two-out walk in the sixth inning after retiring the first 17 batters of the game. Lopez struck out one while getting nine flyouts and 11 groundouts. She did it all on just 78 pitches to record the first no-hitter since Paige Parker did it last year against BYU and the 48th in program history.
Later in the week she picked up her first save against Loyola Marymount as she worked the final two innings. Entering the game in the sixth with the Sooners up 6-4, she struck out two and did not allow a hit, run or walk.
Lopez suffered her first loss of the season in her next outing, giving up three runs in 4.2 innings against Cal Poly, though she did strike out six. She also struck out six in a relief appearance the next day against the Mustangs, allowing one run in 3.1 innings.
For the week, Lopez was 1-1 with a save and a 1.56 ERA. She recorded 15 strikeouts against three walks in 18.0 innings with nine hits allowed for a .148 opponents’ batting average.
After seven games away from home, the Sooners return home this weekend for the College Preview Tournament. OU hosts Mississippi State Friday and UAB on Sunday, while Saturday Oklahoma ventures north to ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City to take on Louisiana Tech and UAB.