Parker, Knighten Sweep Big 12 Weekly Honors
NORMAN, Oklahoma - Oklahoma junior Paige Parker and sophomore Shay Knighten have swept the weekly awards from the conference as Parker was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week and Knighten took home Big 12 Player of the Week honors.
With 16 honors now in her career, Parker has tied former Sooner Keilani Ricketts for the most in OU history and second most in league annals. Only Texas' Cat Osterman (25) has more than Parker and Ricketts. Parker won Big 12 Pitcher of the Week seven times as a freshman, five last year as a sophomore and has four this year.
Parker improved to 17-5 on the season with a win in her lone appearance last weekend at Texas Tech. She struck out eight in 4.0 innings with just one hit allowed and no runs allowed as Oklahoma run-rule the Red Raiders, 12-0, in five innings. She has not allowed a run in her last 18.0 innings. The only hit she allowed was a leadoff double in the third inning. A wild pitch sent the runner to third with one out but Parker recorded back-to-back strikeouts to keep the run off the board.
Knighten has been named Big 12 Player of the Week for the second time this year and third time in her career, becoming the ninth Sooner to reach that total.
The Buena Park, Calif., native was an absolute tear for Texas Tech pitchers as Oklahoma completed a three-game sweep in Lubbock. Entering the weekend with just three home runs on the season, Knighten hit four in the three-game series, including one in each game, and was 6-11 (.545) with seven runs scored, 10 RBI and two stolen bases. She slugged 1.636 with a .583 on-base percentage and became the first Sooner since Shelby Pendley in April of 2015 to hit at least four home runs in a three-game stretch.
Knighten hit her first home run of the weekend in the opener. Leading 2-0, she led off the fifth inning with a solo home run, which turned out to be the winning run as Oklahoma prevailed 4-2.
In a 12-0, five-inning win Saturday, Knighten was 3-3 as she tied a career high with three runs scored, stole a base and posted four RBI, which was then a season-high. She homered for the second straight game, a three-run blast in the third inning. She also singled in the first, had an RBI single in the fourth and came around to score, and walked in the fifth, stole second and scored her third run.
In the series finale, a 14-3 run-rule win, Knighten was 2-4 with three runs scored, stole another base and tied a career high with five runs batted in, fueled by a pair of two-run homers. She drove in a run in the first inning on a fielder's choice, stole second and later scored. She hit the first of her two two-run homers in fourth before adding the other in the fifth, the former to right field and the latter to left.
The Sooners have now won Big 12 honors each of the last eight weeks, setting a program record. Parker was named Pitcher of the Week on March 14, sophomore Sydney Romero and freshman Mariah Lopez swept honors on March 22, freshman Nicole Mendes took home Big 12 Player of the Week honors on March 28, senior Macey Hatfield picked up the Player of the Week award April 4, Knighten and junior Paige Lowary swept on April 11 and Parker won each of the last two weeks.