In the first inning Thursday night, Oklahoma’s Shelby Pendley launched her team-leading 18th home run of the season. A couple innings later, she tumbled head-first into the Alabama dugout trying to catch a foul popup.
And in the fifth inning, with Alabama’s bats torching the Sooners, Pendley moved from third base to the pitcher’s circle and didn’t allow a hit the rest of the game.
Effort and production have been the cornerstones of Pendley’s All-American season for the seventh-seeded Sooners, who need to embrace the attitude of their leader as they face elimination at the Women’s College World Series.
“She’s a competitor,” OU coach Patty Gasso said. “The fact that she can play a great third base, I can bring her in to pitch… She can run well. She is a complete player.”
Pendley has a 1.73 earned-run average in 22 pitching appearances, which isn’t quite as impressive as her team-leading .429 batting average. And she was named to the Big 12 Conference All-Defensive team for her play at third base.
OU will take on Louisiana-Lafayette at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Hall of Fame Stadium, with the loser heading home. The winner advances to an 8:30 elimination game against top-seeded Oregon, which fell 4-0 to Florida on Friday night.