Oklahoma softball is headed back to the NCAA Super Regionals after a dominating weekend.
The two-time defending national champion Sooners capped their three-game sweep through the Norman Regional on Sunday afternoon with a 7-0 triumph over Missouri.
It boosts them into the Super Regionals for the ninth straight season and 12th time overall.
The Sooners’ weekend blitz included three shutout victories by a combined margin of 24-0. It was the first time they have advanced through a regional without allowing a run since 2010.
Oklahoma (53-3) surged to its 14th consecutive victory on Sunday. It started early with 2 unearned runs against losing pitcher Madi Norman in the fourth inning.
Oklahoma started scoring runs on back-to-back errors by Missouri third baseman Amanda Sanchez and shortstop Braxton Burnside.
The Sooners weren’t challenged from there, cruising behind the strong work of winning pitcher Paige Parker and reliever Paige Lowary. Parker’s big effort came a day after she missed action because she was involved in a minor automobile accident on Friday night.
Parker pushed her record to 28-2 with the victory, scattering three hits in 4⅓ innings. She struck out 1, giving her 178 in 156⅔ innings.
Lowary nailed down the save with 2⅔ clean innings. She allowed two balls to be hit outside the infield during the regionals.
The Sooners extended their lead with 3 more unearned runs in the fourth inning. The first came after leadoff hitter Nicole Mendes reached base on a throwing error. Mendes then stole second and scored on consecutive flyouts.
Later in the inning, Oklahoma’s Shay Knighten added a two-out, 2-run single.
Nicole Pendley iced the victory with a 2-run homer in the seventh inning. It was her second blast in the regional.
Missouri (30-29) escaped two previous elimination games in the tournament before Sunday. The Tigers failed to make the SEC championships and were one of the last at-large teams to qualify for the tournament.
Oklahoma has never lost to Arkansas in NCAA play
The victory boosts the No. 4 Sooners into the NCAA Super Regionals starting Thursday or Friday in Norman, Okla. They will meet Arkansas, which claimed the Fayetteville Regional with a 6-4 victory over Wichita State on Sunday.
The Sooners are 5-0 against Arkansas in previous NCAA Tournament action. They have a 23-2 overall record against the Lady Razorbacks.
Oklahoma has not lost a home game this season.