NORMAN, Okla. — The Oklahoma softball pitching staff has been unhittable this weekend.
The University of Wisconsin witnessed their dominance up close Saturday.
Junior left-hander Giselle Juarez struck out 16 and recorded her third no-hitter of the season as the top-ranked Sooners blanked the Badgers 4-0 in an NCAA tournament double-elimination regional.
Juarez improved to 24-0 this season and her only blemishes Saturday were allowing two batters to reach first base — a hit-by-pitch in the second inning and a walk in the sixth. The effort came a day after three Oklahoma pitchers — Juarez threw the first three innings — combined for a five-inning perfect game against UMBC.
“We’re getting spoiled here,” Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said of Juarez. “To do this in regionals is unheard of. … She was in the zone last night. She was in the zone today. All her pitches are working … She is nails out there.”
Oklahoma scored single runs in the first and fifth innings against UW starter Hayley Hestekin (17-5). Caleigh Clifton’s two-run home run in the seventh off reliever Kaitlyn Menz capped the scoring.
UW (41-14), which had only four hits during Friday’s 4-2 victory over Notre Dame, was scheduled to play Notre Dame late Saturday night. The winner advances to today’s championship game against Oklahoma.
The Sooners (51-2) have won 41 consecutive games, the second-longest winning streak in NCAA Division I history.
Oklahoma 100 010 2 — 4 8 0
Wisconsin 000 000 0 — 0 0 2
Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Juarez (W; 7-0-0-1-16); Hestekin (L; 4.2-5-1-2-3), Menz (2.1-3-2-0-4).
Leading hitters — O: Clifton (3x4). HR —Clifton.