NORMAN — Oklahoma kicked off its title defense in style on Friday night.
Entering the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1-overall seed, the Sooners easily dispatched the Prairie View A&M Panthers 14-0 at Marita Hynes Field.
With true freshman Jordy Bahl still battling through arm soreness, sophomore pitcher Nicole May took the circle and shined.
Completing four innings of work, May struck out seven batters and allowed no hits and just one walk before OU head coach Patty Gasso withdrew her from the game.
In support of May, Oklahoma’s offense started the contest off with a bang.
Jayda Coleman, back in the leadoff spot for the Sooners (50-2), was hit on the hand by a pitch to immediately give OU a threat on the base paths.
In the ensuing at-bat, Jocelyn Alo battled to a full-count, and drew a walk. Gasso had Coleman on the move ahead of the walk, however, and Panthers (20-29) catcher Biviana Figueroa needlessly threw down to second base toward Coleman. Figueroa missed her target, sending the ball skidding into center field and allowing Coleman to steal third base.
Gasso kept the foot on the gas, and the Sooners scored without sophomore star Tiare Jennings needing to swing the bat.
Alo was instructed to steal second, but this time Figueroa’s throw arrived in plenty of time. Prairie View A&M had Alo caught in a rundown, and while Alo was tagged out, Coleman was able to steal home to take the 1-0 lead.
But on the next pitch, Jennings launched a moonshot over the scoreboard and toward the fans gathered behind the walls of Marita Hynes Field in Home Run Village.
Had Alo just stayed on first, OU would have added an extra run, but the Sooners still gleefully took the 2-0 lead at the end of the first inning.
After a quiet second inning, the top of the lineup finally ignited the fans at Marita Hynes Field in the third inning.
Scroll to Continue
Coleman reached base on an infield single to start the frame, and then stole second.
The extra base was all Alo would need to drive home the run, as the super senior singled up the middle to plate Coleman and extend the lead to 3-0.
Lynnsie Elam then drove in a couple of runs with two outs, firing a hard-hit grounder up the left field line.
Later in the inning, alert base running by Elam capped off the frame as the catcher stole home on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 6-0.
While May cruised in the circle, the Sooner offense ensured the contest wouldn’t go the distance in the fourth inning.
Coleman continued her stellar outing, driving in Taylon Snow with an RBI-single. The OU center fielder then had the best seat in the house, as Alo barreled a no-doubter well over Coleman’s head into the right field bleachers to push the lead to 9-0.
Not to be outdone, shortstop Grace Lyons rocketed a two-run blast of her own later in the inning.
True freshman Turiya Coleman also got in on the action, hitting her first career home run and driving in Hannah Coor and Sophia Nugent to put the cherry on top of the eight-run fourth inning.
Hope Trautwein entered in the top of the fifth inning to close out the combined no-hitter, adding a pair of strikeouts in the process.
Oklahoma will return to action in the Norman Regional Saturday at 1 p.m., as Oklahoma will meet Texas A&M in a winner’s bracket battle. The winner of the contest will advance to Sunday’s Regional Final and will have two chances to punch a ticket to next weekend’s Super Regional.
Want to join the discussion? Click here to become a member of the AllSooners message board community today!
Sign up for your premium membership to AllSooners.com today, and get access to the entire Fan Nation premium network!
Follow AllSooners on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest OU news.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism