Lauren Chamberlain fuels No. 4 Oklahoma's charge past Arizona State
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Down to its final six outs, Oklahoma turned to one of its leaders and she delivered.
Senior Lauren Chamberlain's 78th career home run sparked the Sooners' four-run sixth inning as No. 4 Oklahoma (9-0) rallied for a 5-1 victory at No. 21 Arizona State (7-4) Saturday night at the Littlewood Classic.
Oklahoma’s high-powered offense, which entered the game averaging 10.1 runs per contest, had been held in check for most of the night. The Sooners were hitting the ball hard but had five hits and no runs to show for it through five innings.
OU was also a victim of some bad luck early on as twice the team got runners on first and second with no outs, but both times senior Shelby Pendley hit hard line drives right at infielders that turned into double plays.
Fortunes finally changed for OU in the sixth inning.
Trailing 1-0, Chamberlain led off the inning. After taking a strike, she watched three pitches go by to get ahead 3-1 in the count. Chamberlain then unloaded a game-tying solo home run deep beyond the fence in left center field.
Chamberlain now sits 12 home runs away from tying the all-time NCAA Division I home run record of 90 set by UCLA’s Stacey Nuveman.
Pendley followed Chamberlain with a sharp single to left field, and she moved to second on a wild pitch as junior Erin Miller batted. Miller then went the other way on a 1-2 pitch and hit a grounder that bounced off the glove of third baseman Haley Steele. The ball careened into center field, which allowed Pendley to score from second base and give OU the 2-1 lead.
Junior Kady Self followed Miller and drove a 1-0 pitch to straightaway center field for her first home run of the season and the seventh of her career.
The Sooners picked up an insurance run in the seventh as freshman Nicole Pendley drew a leadoff walk and, two batters later, her sister Shelby Pendley drove her in with a double to the gap in left-center to push the lead to 5-1.
In throwing her first seven-inning complete game shutout, Parker struck out four, walked five and allowed one run on five hits.