OU softball vs Cleveland State recap: Sooners run-rule Vikings in NCAA Tournament opener

Coach Patty Gasso and the second-seeded OU softball team will look to begin their NCAA Tournament run in emphatic fashion when they open the Norman Regional against Cleveland State on Friday night at Love's Field.

Here's what you need to know about the Sooners (49-6) matchup against the Vikings (22-24):

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OU softball live score updates vs. Cleveland State

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Final: Sooners win, 9-0

Tiare Jennings blasted a two-run home run to give OU a walk-off, run-rule win in the sixth.

More: OU softball crush Cleveland State in NCAA opener as Kasidi Pickering blasts 2 HRs

Mid-6: Karlie Keeney keeps Vikings scoreless

After five scoreless innings from Nicole May, Karlie Keeney delivered a 1-2-3 sixth to keep OU's lead at 5-0.

End 5: Kasidi Pickering delivers again

Kasidi Pickering left no doubt this time.

Pickering blasted her second home run of the game, a solo homer to right-center to give OU a 5-0 lead.

Mid-5: Nicole May keeps on dealing

OU starter Nicole May keeps getting stronger.

May struck out two in the fifth and has a season-high nine strikeouts through five innings as OU leads 5-0.

May has thrown 72 pitches through five innings, allowing three hits.

End 4: Rylie Boone delivers RBI single, then Sooners add more

The Sooners had struggled to get much going against Vikings' starter Melissa Holzopfel, who entered the game with a 1.77 ERA.

It looked like they were heading to another scoreless inning after Kasidi Pickering's leadoff single was followed by two quick outs.

But then Rylie Boone delivered, with an RBI single to left before Jayda Coleman delivered a towering triple to left center and Ella Parker followed with an RBI single to center to make it 4-0.

Mid-4: Nicole May works around leadoff single

OU starter Nicole May kept Cleveland State off the board in the fourth with a strikeout, a flyout to left and another strikeout

May has seven strikeouts, tying a season high, through four.

End 3: Alyssa Brito turns in long at-bat but Sooners can't add on

Ella Parker looked like she's one-upped her freshman counterpart.

But Parker's potential two-run home run instead died on the warning track for the second out of the inning.

Tiare Jennings followed Parker's shot with a single to center, advancing to second on the throw to put a pair of runners in scoring position and Kinzie Hansen then drew a walk to load the bases.

Alyssa Brito then battled Melissa Holzopfel, fouling off pitch after pitch before striking out on a changeup to end the threat.

Mid-3: Nicole May keeps dealing

OU starter Nicole May worked another scoreless inning in the third, keeping the Sooners' 1-0 lead intact.

May has struck out five and allowed two hits in the first three innings.

End 2: Kasidi Pickering puts Sooners in front

Ella Parker had been the Sooners' freshman making the most waves recently.

Friday, it was Kasidi Pickering who had the first big blow, though.

Pickering blasted a 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall for a solo homer with one out in the second to put OU ahead.

The home run was Pickering's eighth of the season.

Mid-2: Tiare Jennings turns in a highlight play

Off Sophie Spellman's bat, the ball looked destined to find centerfield for a one-out hit that would've given Cleveland State a runner in scoring position.

But Sooners' shortstop Tiare Jennings was able to snag it with a dive, and quickly flipped to second baseman Avery Hodge for the force out. Hodge's quick turn nearly was enough to get Spellman at first.

But Nicole May quickly struck out the next hitter to keep Cleveland State off the board and the game scoreless.

End 1: Sooners can't get on the board

Jayda Coleman drew a leadoff walk and when Coleman reaches base to begin games, generally good things happen for the Sooners.

But the Sooners couldn't get on the board in the first, as a groundout, strikeout and groundout ended the first without a run on the board.

Mid-1: Nicole May works quick first

Avery Hodge made a valiant effort but couldn't quite get to Melissa Holzopfel's liner.

But Holzopfel's two-out single to right, just eluding Hodge's dive, wasn't enough to keep Nicole May from working a quick first inning.

May struck out two to make it through the scoreless first.

Pregame: Nicole May gets the start for Sooners

Nicole May will start in the circle for the Sooners in their Norman Regional opener vs. Cleveland State.

May (12-2) has a 2.58 ERA. She threw 1 2/3 innings in Saturday's Big 12 Tournament title game against Texas.

OU softball highlights vs. Cleveland State

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What time does OU softball vs. Cleveland State start?

  • Date: Friday, May 17

  • Time: 7 p.m. CT

  • Where: Love's Field in Norman

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What channel is OU softball vs. Cleveland State on today?

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This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OU softball run-rules Cleveland State in NCAA Tournament opener