Oklahoma softball coach Patty Gasso talked up Kansas on the day before her top-ranked Sooners began hosting their first three-game conference set of the season.
Her players, however, did not back her up Thursday evening at Marita Hynes Field, pounding the Jayhawks 14-0.
Plating eight first-inning runs and six more in the fourth, once the top half of the fifth inning was in the books, the mercy-rule was invoked and the Sooners were handed a freer Thursday night than they might have figured, getting off the diamond in short order.
Now 26-0 overall and 4-0 against Big 12 competition, the Sooners look forward to the remaining two games of the series, beginning at 6 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Saturday.
Kansas starter Tatum Goff endured one of the most crushing two-thirds of an inning a player can endure from the circle.
She faced 10 batters, walked one of them, retired two of them and allowed six hits, three of them home runs.
Kinzie Hansen hit the first one, a three-run shot after Tiare Jennings and Jocelyn Alo began the bottom of the first inning with singles. Lynnsie Elam hit the second, a one-out, two-run shot after Jayda Coleman walked.
Jennings, the 10th batter of the frame, then hit one of her own, a two-out, three-run shot that also plated Jana Johns and Mackenzie Donihoo, who reached base via being hit by a pitch and a bunt single.
In the fourth inning, Alo led off with a home run, her 22nd of the season in just her 26th game. Her nearest pursuer in the category entering Friday was Arkansas’ Braxton Burnside, with 17 in 30 games. Her next pursuer is Jennings, who’s first-inning shot was her 15th of the season.
Elam added her second home run of the game four batters later, with Grace Lyons and Jayda Coleman aboard after a double and a single.
Donihoo, who doubled two batters after Elam’s second shot, scored OU’s next run, coming home on a Jayhawk fielding error. Jennings then added an RBI single, driving home Nicole Mendes, who singled after Donihoo doubled.
Alo actually came to the plate a second time in the inning and clapped a double to left field, yet it was the last hit of the frame.
The Sooners racked up 14 hits, the Jayhawks only two against OU starter Shannon Saile, who struck out eight and walked two over four innings.
Alanna Thiede pitched the fifth inning for the Sooners, retiring Kansas with a pop out, a ground out and a line out.
Beginning with a three-game series against Mexico’s national team, Gasso began warning the rest of the Sooner season would be more difficult.
Her players are yet to prove her right.