HONOLULU -- Making her first start of the season in the circle, senior Shelby Pendley struck out a career-high 10 batters Friday night as No. 4 Oklahoma (3-0) shut out Hawaii (1-2), 7-0) to earn the top seed going into Saturday’s bracket play at the Oceanic Time Warner Paradise Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Pendley improved to 2-0 on the season as she kept the Rainbow Wahine off-balance all night en route to throwing the second shutout of her career. She matched her previous career high of five strikeouts in the fifth inning, then finished the frame by striking out the side to push her total to seven. It was part of a stretch that saw Pendley retire nine consecutive batters from the third inning to the sixth.
In the seventh inning, Pendley picked up three more strikeouts to post the highest total by a Sooners pitcher on the young season. She gave up just two hits, a single in the third and another single in the fourth, and walked only one batter.
After two scoreless frames, heads-up baserunning gave the Sooners a 1-0 lead in the third inning.
Sophomore Macey Hatfield led off the inning by pulling a single through the left side. Two batters later, a groundout moved Hatfield to second base, and Lauren Chamberlain and Pendley followed with consecutive walks.
With freshman Paige Parker batting with the bases loaded, Hawaii starting pitcher Brittany Hitchcock uncorked a wild pitch to the backstop. Hatfield broke from third base and used a feet-first slide to sneak in just ahead of the tag of catcher Lindsey Willmon.
Oklahoma added four big runs in the sixth inning.
It started when junior Erin Miller dropped a one-out single into right field, and fellow junior Whitney Ellis roped a double to the right-center gap to put two into scoring position. Junior Kady Self followed with a double of her own to score Miller and push the lead to 2-0.
With runners on second and third, Hatfield sent a deep drive to left field. Hawaii’s Rachel Lack reached over the fence to rob Hatfield of a home run, but the play resulted in a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
Freshman Kelsey Arnold kept the inning alive with a bunt single before fellow freshman Nicole Pendley walked to fill the bases. That brought Chamberlain to the plate, and she pulled an 0-1 pitch into left field to bring home a pair of runs.
The Sooners added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh.
Parker led off with a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Jessica Vest. The extra speed on the basepaths paid off as senior Callie Parsons drove a double to the gap in left center and Vest raced home to put OU up 6-0. Hatfield batted next and sent a grounder that went right through the legs of Hawaii second baseman Tayana Mata, enabling Parsons to come home from second.