Sooners open series with 8-0 run-rule win over the Houston Cougars

The Oklahoma Sooners got off to a hot start in their series opener against the Houston Cougars, and Kelly Maxwell pitched another gem to lead Oklahoma to an 8-0 run-rule win in walk-off fashion.

Taking on a Houston team that has the second-lowest batting average and the highest ERA in Big 12 play, the Sooners struck early.

Maxwell recorded a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first, and the Sooners’ offense quickly went to work in the bottom half of the inning.

Jayda Coleman walked to lead off the game and moved to third on a two-out single by Kinzie Hansen. Alynah Torres put OU on the board first with a three-run home run. It was Torres’ eighth home run of the season and part of a 2-for-2 evening with four RBIs and two runs scored.

Oklahoma had opportunities with runners on in the second but were unable to capitalize. The Sooners put pressure on Houston again in the third with the bases loaded and nobody out. All they could muster was one run on a fielder’s choice from Cydney Sanders to make it 4-0.

Tiare Jennings led off the fourth with a walk and moved to third on Hansen’s base hit. Torres picked up her fourth RBI of the game on a grounder to the pitcher, scoring Jennings from third to make it 5-0. After a fielder’s choice put Hansen on third, the Sooners’ star catcher stole home to make it 6-0 and put the Sooners in complete control.

With the way Maxwell was pitching, Houston had little hope at that point. She threw five innings, allowing two hits and three walks, and recorded five strikeouts. Maxwell didn’t allow a runner past second base in a performance that helped the Sooners ace move to 14-1 on the season. The Sooners defense picked her up with double plays in the second and third innings.

Not satisfied, the Sooners continued to pour the offense on in the sixth inning. Kinzie Hansen led off with a single and advanced to third on Avery Hodge’s single to centerfield. Quincee Lilio walked to load the bases, and Sanders walked for the 34th time in 2024 to drive in a run and make it 7-0 Sooners. With two outs in the inning and the Cougars hoping to play all seven, Jayda Coleman walked it off with a RBI single to secure the Sooners win.

After her 10-game hitting streak was snapped against Tulsa, Kinzie Hansen responded with a 3-for-4 night to help lead the way at the plate. Coleman, Jennings, Torres, and Riley Ludlam each had two hits on the night. Along with Hansen, Jennings and Coleman also reached base three times, each earning a walk to go along with their two-hit nights.

With the victory, Oklahoma improved to 40-4 on the season and 16-3 in Big 12 play. They remain one game ahead of the Texas Longhorns and two games ahead of Oklahoma State in the Big 12 regular season title race.

The Sooners are back in action for game two of the series on Saturday night at 6 p.m. CT. Oklahoma will close the series with Houston on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Both games can be seen on ESPN+.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire