EL PASO, Texas — The No. 4 Oklahoma softball team started the 2021 season with a bang on Thursday at the Miner Invitational. OU collected two shutout, run-rule victories in a record-setting day, topping UTEP (29-0) and Abilene Christian (9-0) by a combined 38 runs.
The Sooners set an NCAA single-game record for home runs in a game with 13 blasts in their first game versus UTEP. Additionally, Oklahoma tied the NCAA record for homers in an inning with five in the first and fourth innings.
Freshman Tiare Jennings began her OU career with a 6-for-7, seven RBI day including an incredible four home runs in OU's two games. Junior shortstop Grace Lyons also wowed, putting up a 5-for-7, nine RBI day with four blasts. Jennings and Lyons each homered three times against the Miners in the opener, tying a school record for most home runs in a single game.
Picking up where she left off in 2020 was sophomore Kinzie Hansen. Hansen went 5-for-5 versus UTEP, bringing in three runs on two round-trippers.
Redshirt senior Nicole Mendes registered an impressive performance at the plate as well, going 2-for-5 with five RBIs and two home runs in OU's first contest of the day.
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Additionally, the pitching staff had themselves an opening day in the circle. Redshirt senior Giselle Juarez was exceptional with six strikeouts and no runs, hits or walks allowed versus UTEP. Sophomore Olivia Rains closed game one for OU with three strikeouts and just a pair of hits allowed.
In OU's second game, freshman right-hander Nicole May made her collegiate debut with a 4.0 IP, three strikeout performance, allowing just one walk in her first start. Sophomore Macy McAdoo finished game two strong for the Sooners, pitching the fifth and final inning of the run-rule win, registering two strikeouts and one hit.
Oklahoma closes action at the Miner Invitational Friday with two more games against UTEP and Abilene Christian. The Sooners face the Wildcats at 11 a.m. CT before rematching with the Miners at 4 p.m.
- OU broke the single-game NCAA home run record (all divisions) with 13 home runs vs. UTEP, the previous record was held by BYU (10 vs. Utah Valley, April 16, 2008) and UTSA (10 vs. Texas Southern, April 8, 2004).
- Oklahoma tied the NCAA record (all divisions) for home runs in an inning with five in the first and fourth innings vs. UTEP. Seven other schools, including OU in 2015 vs. East Carolina, share the record.
- Oklahoma set a program record for largest season-opening win with their 29-0 tally over the Miners, besting the 1980 season opener over Lady of the Lake, an 18-0 win.
- 29 runs in a game ranks second in program history to the 35 runs the Sooners put up against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Feb. 28, 2014.
- Junior Grace Lyons and freshman Tiare Jennings each hit three home runs vs. UTEP, tying the school record for HRs in a game (2x, MR: 2015, Shelby Pendley vs. ECU)