Oklahoma softball sets mark with 39th straight win

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              FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2019, file photo, Oklahoma's Caleigh Clifton (20), Sydney Romero (2) and Parker Conrad (73) celebrate during an NCAA college softball game against Florida State in Clearwater, Fla. Oklahoma has matched the Division I record for consecutive wins in a season with 38 and can break the record Friday in the Big 12 Tournament against Texas Tech. The Sooners have done it with talent, balance and a business-like approach. (AP Images/Casey Brooke Lawson via AP, File)
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma set a single-season Division I softball record with its 39th consecutive win, defeating Texas Tech 8-0 in six innings Friday in a Big 12 Tournament opener.

The Sooners (49-2) had tied the mark South Carolina set in 1997 with a victory over Oklahoma State on Sunday. They didn’t make much of a fuss over the record — the program that has won two of the past three national titles has bigger things in mind.

Arizona holds the overall Division I mark of 47 straight wins that spanned the 1996 and 1997 seasons.

“We want to go out with a bang,” Oklahoma senior infielder Shay Knighten said. “We have a goal in mind, and our mission is to complete that mission. And so I think every game is just another step to completing our mission.”

The Sooners shut down a Texas Tech squad that entered the tournament second in the Big 12 with a .332 batting average.

Oklahoma pitcher Giselle “G” Juarez had a final exam in Music Theatre in the morning, then she found her rhythm in the circle. She pitched five innings, gave up just one hit and struck out 11 to improve to 22-0 this season. She took a no-hitter into the fourth inning.

Shannon Saile pitched the top of the sixth inning and walked one and struck out two to preserve the shutout.

“The two are a very good combination together,” Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said. “It was a very complete — to shut that team out — one hit, no runs — that’s a big deal because that’s a good hitting team.”

Grace Green had two hits and scored three runs and Knighten had two hits and drove in three runs for the top-seeded Sooners. The Sooners opened the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the second inning, then scored three more in the third.