Oklahoma softball takes down top-ranked UCLA 14-0 with offensive explosion
FINAL: No. 2 Oklahoma beats No. 1 UCLA 14-0
Statement made. In a battle between the top two teams in the nation, Oklahoma's offense absolutely erupted for a 14-0 win in five innings. It's hard to even pick a player of the game considering the Sooners had six home runs and 20 hits on the game. Tiare Jennings finished 3-for-4 with four RBI and a homer and Kinzie Hansen had two homers for five RBI in the win.
Do not forget to give credit where credit is due, though. The offense may have gone off, but Alex Storako completed a five-inning shutout and silenced a UCLA offense that has put up double-digit runs in four games already this season. She finished with just three hits allowed and five strikeouts for a stellar performance in the circle.
The offensive domination all started in the top of the second inning — Alyssa Brito and Jayda Coleman hit back-to-back homers off of Megan Faraimo, and it didn't end there. Tiare Jennings and Haley Lee added two more bombs for a FOUR-home run inning. Hansen then wanted in on the party. She blasted her first two-run homer in the top of the fourth then hit another, this time a three-run bomb, in the top of the fifth.
The OU offense gave us all some serious flashbacks to the Sooners last season. They don't call them home run-U for nothing. The Sooners had lost a close 4-3 battle to Baylor last week, and it looks like that was all they needed to wake up the beast.
UCLA has now been handed its first loss of the season, and it is likely the Sooners will re-take the top spot in college softball this week in the polls.
𝐔𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐩𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐝.#ChampionshipMindset pic.twitter.com/gqtQZQ3aFS— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) February 26, 2023
Alex Storako looks to finish the game off in five
𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲.— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) February 26, 2023
T5 | OU 14, UCLA 0 pic.twitter.com/jwYmW4wQOG
Oklahoma takes 14-0 lead in top of the 5th
When it rains it pours, and these Oklahoma bats are absolutely contagious right now. The Sooners piled on some more runs, highlighted by Kinzie Hansen's second homer of the day for a 14-0 lead.
Grace Lyons got it started with an RBI-single to score Cydney Sanders for an 11-0 lead, then Hansen launched a three-run homer to left-field.
𝐏𝐭. 𝟔. @kinziehansen 🔙 in a 𝐛𝐢𝐠 way 🐾— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) February 26, 2023
📺 @FloSoftball pic.twitter.com/S9MXc65SR1
Kinzie Hansen sends a two-run homer over the fence
ANOTHER ONE! The offensive domination continues, this time with Kinzie Hansen sending a two-run bomb over the center-field fence to take a 10-0 lead. What is even cooler about this is that Hansen is back from an appendix issue at the very beginning of the season... just two weeks ago.
Here is the big homer from Hansen:
𝐏𝐭. 𝟓 @kinziehansen 🐶— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) February 26, 2023
T4 | OU 10, UCLA 0 | 📺 @FloSoftball pic.twitter.com/vAvbgh8LuA
The Sooners are looking to make a big-time statement here today after losing a close game to Baylor last week.
Oklahoma takes 8-0 lead in top of the 3rd
The Sooners are pouring it on. Oklahoma has now chased Lauren Shaw out of the game as well, as Tiare Jennings knocked in another two runs on line drive double that was a near-miss homer. Not to mention, Alex Storako is performing really well for OU in the circle. She has held the Bruins scoreless with just two hits allowed and three Ks.
Storako works a quick frame and the bats are back to the plate.— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) February 26, 2023
END 2 | OU 6, UCLA 0 pic.twitter.com/wSgOx9xES7
ANOTHER homer for OU gives the Sooners a 5-0 lead
Lauren Shaw entered the game for UCLA with the task of getting just one more out to get out of the inning. But new pitcher, same story... and Haley Lee was at the plate. Lee sent the FOURTH home run of the inning over the fence for a 5-0 lead. Following that fourth home run, Alynah Torres came up to plate and singled for the seventh consecutive hit for Oklahoma.
𝐏𝐭. 𝟒 @haley45lee — Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) February 26, 2023
📺 @FloSoftball pic.twitter.com/EN5fXmlngg
Everyone just might be starting to get flashbacks to Oklahoma last season — home run galore. Shaw finally got out of the inning, but the damage was already done. The Sooners are now up 6-0 after a four-home run inning.
Oklahoma takes the lead with THREE 💣s!
The Sooners take a 4-0 lead in the top of the second off of back-to-back two-out bombs from Alyssa Brito and Jayda Coleman, a single from Grace Lyons and then ANOTHER bomb from Tiare Jennings. The Sooners chased Megan Faraimo out of the game in just the second inning. Take a look at these three shots:
𝐏𝐭. 𝟏 @alyss_33 🔥— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) February 26, 2023
📺 @FloSoftball pic.twitter.com/eelqGzK7mm
𝐏𝐭. 𝟐 @jaydac00 🔥🔥— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) February 26, 2023
📺 @FloSoftball pic.twitter.com/gM7sb1XanT
𝐏𝐭. 𝟑 @_tiarejennings 😮💨😮💨😮💨— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) February 26, 2023
📺 @FloSoftball pic.twitter.com/Nn8dDhzUXX
Lauren Shaw will now enter the circle for the UCLA Bruins with two outs in the top of the second.
The 1-2 battle is underway!
The game we have all been waiting for is underway. Megan Faraimo, of course, is starting in the circle for the Bruins. But for Oklahoma, it is Alex Storako with the ball instead of Jordy Bahl today. So far, we have had a pitching duel. Both pitchers got out of the first inning scoreless. The crowd is absolutely packed at the Mary Nutter Classic for this game — not an empty seat there.
We just wanna 𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐤 🗣️ @alexstorako— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) February 26, 2023
END 1 | OU 0, UCLA 0 | @FloSoftball pic.twitter.com/Y9SKBWuXWm
Here are the starting lineups:
How to watch Oklahoma vs. UCLA
Who: No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 2 Oklahoma
When: 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Feb. 26
Where: Mary Nutter Classic — Cathedral City, CA Big League Dreams Sports Park
How to watch: Livestream on FloSoftball
Additionally, the game will be aired on tape delay on MLB Network at 10 p.m. ET Sunday night.
Tournament tickets can be purchased here.
UCLA and Oklahoma, previewed
Oklahoma and UCLA entered the season as the top two teams in the nation. Since we saw the schedules, we have been gearing up for this 1 vs. 2 matchup. And we do still have it, but flipped. We once thought Oklahoma, the back-to-back reigning national champions, would be the No. 1 team, but instead, UCLA enters the matchup sitting on top of college softball. The flip-flop happened just last week when Oklahoma lost an unexpected matchup to Baylor. Jordy Bahl was in the circle and gave up a three-run bomb that gave the Bears the advantage. The Sooners tried to battle back from a 4-1 deficit, but ultimately fell 4-3. Last season, it took 39 games for Oklahoma softball to lose its first game of the season. In 2023, it took just 10 days and nine games.
But of course, head coach Patty Gasso said in the soonersports.com recap of the game, "What just happened is extremely valuable. What's valuable is the response, the rebound and the extra work that is going to be put in to make us better. Our offense was confused with things and we definitely have to find a way to handle pitchers that mix pitches better."
So, the loss likely shouldn't give Sooners fans any worry. Typically, losses are early and often in softball, but for Oklahoma, this was odd. For UCLA, too, considering the Bruins are currently undefeated on the season despite multiple ranked matchups. They even faced No. 3 Florida on Thursday at the Mary Nutter, and they run-ruled them with a 10-0 win in five innings. To go even FURTHER, Megan Faraimo threw a no-hitter. UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said Faraimo is on a mission this season. That much is obvious to us all.
We will likely see Faraimo and Bahl in the circle. Oklahoma also has Alex Storako and Nicole May to work with. Both Faraimo and Bahl are dangerous two-way players. These are definitely two of the best pitching staffs in the nation, and then on top of that, two of the best offensive lineups in the nation.
Faraimo has not been short of run support so far this season. They have put up 10 or more runs in four games already. And this hasn't been against weak competition — the Bruins have taken down Alabama, Virginia Tech, Louisiana and Florida. The resume is super impressive. If Faraimo is on a mission... so is Maya Brady. The senior star is hitting .575 so far on the season with five homers to go along with it. Jordan Woolery and Savannah Pola are not too far behind.
The Sooners lost Jocelyn Alo this season, but Jocelyn Erickson, a freshman, is leading the team in average right now. Plus Haley Lee, Rylie Boone and Grace Lyons are all hitting .400 or above. Tiare Jennings is hitting .385 with one home run, which normally is pretty good. But we are talking about the D1softball No. 1 rated player in the nation. It's possible she starts turning it up a notch at any moment in time.
This is a top-tier matchup between the two top teams in the nation. Get ready for a good one.
Current USA Today Top 25 rankings
Mary Nutter Classic — Schedule, how to watch
Here is the Sunday schedule for the event (all times Eastern). Every game will be available to livestream here on FloSoftball. Tournament tickets can be purchased here.
Sunday, Feb. 26
- No. 17 Northwestern vs. San Diego | 12 p.m.
- Iowa vs. Oregon State | 12 p.m.
- Ohio State vs. Utah | 12 p.m.
- Iowa State vs. No. 24 Oregon | 12 p.m.
- No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 2 Oklahoma | 12:30 p.m.
- Cal vs. Texas Tech | 2:30 p.m.
- Portland State vs. Loyola Marymount | 2:30 p.m.
- San Diego vs. Utah Valley | 2:30 p.m.
- Arizona State vs. UC San Diego | 3 p.m.
- Arizona State vs. Long Beach State | 5:30 p.m.
- UC San Diego vs. Loyola Marymount | 5:30 p.m.
Click or tap here for the complete schedule of games and scores in the event, which started Thursday, Feb. 23.