Christian Stokes' run-scoring double in the bottom of the 10th inning gave No. 12-ranked Kentucky a 5-4 season-opening softball victory over defending national champion Oklahoma on Friday at the Easton Tournament in Fullerton, Calif. OU, which finished 57-4 and won its second NCAA title last spring, led 4-2 Friday before the Wildcats forced extra innings with two home runs.
Stanford transfer Kelsey Stevens was the Sooners' starting pitcher; she threw six innings and allowed three runs on six hits and a walk. Stevens struck out five before Georgia Casey took over for the final 31/3 innings.
Lauren Chamberlain, Shelby Pendley and Casey homered. Chamberlain's first of the season gave her 61 career homers, tying former teammate Jessica Shults for most in OU and Big 12 history.
No. 2-ranked Oklahoma played host Cal State-Fullerton late Friday night. The Sooners are scheduled to play twice Saturday, at 2:30 p.m. against Santa Clara and at 5 against Loyola-Marymount.
COWGIRLS WIN TWICE
Simone Freeman struck out 15, and Shelby Davis collected four hits to help Oklahoma State win two games to start the softball season Friday at the Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La.
Oklahoma State opened with a 3-0 victory over Central Arkansas, and then it trimmed Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 2-1 in eight innings.
Freeman was the starting pitcher against Central Arkansas, blanking the Bears on three hits, no walks and 10 strikeouts. She added five strikeouts in three innings of relief against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
Davis had three singles and a stolen base during the day. She added a game-winning double in the bottom of the eighth inning against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
OSU will continue play at 3 p.m. Saturday against Murray State and at 5 against No. 17-ranked LSU.
DEFENDING CHAMPS LOSE
Central Oklahoma started defense of its NCAA Division II championship with a pair of losses Friday at the Desert Stinger Tournament in Las Vegas. The No. 1-ranked Bronchos committed four errors and stranded 12 runners in a 7-6 setback to No. 22 Augustana (S.D.). In the second game, a 7-2 loss to St. Mary's (Texas), UCO pitchers surrendered three home runs.
Kaylee Brunson had four hits on the day for the Bronchos, who face No. 8 West Texas A&M at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and then Mary (N.D.) at 4.
“We knew we had a target on our backs coming out here and that we would be playing a lot of good teams,” said interim UCO coach Cody White. “We didn't play well enough to win today and made too many mistakes, both mental and physical.”