Storako deals second career no-no, Sooners explode in bomb fest for 18-0 run-rule win over Kentucky
On an evening that featured plenty and plenty of offense, it was Alex Storako who was the biggest star of the show. The transfer pitcher tossed a no-hitter for the second time in her storied career and finished just a walk away from perfection in top-ranked Oklahoma’s 18-0 run-rule victory over No. 14 Kentucky Friday evening at Marita Hynes Field.
When Storako struck out Kentucky right fielder Taylor Ebbs to strand that lone base runner in the top of the first, she pumped her fist at catcher Kinzie Hansen. When Storako induced a sharp chopper that shortstop Grace Lyons picked and fired to first to end the third, she turned around and pointed at Lyons with a scream in jubilation.
When Storako fanned Ebbs again to end the top of the fourth, she loudly yelled ‘let’s go’ and again pumped her fist at her battery mate while exiting the circle. And when Storako popped up Wildcats pitcher Kennedy Sullivan for the 15th and final out, she flipped off her mask and her teammates mobbed her just inside the first base line.
“I’ve only ever thrown one no-hitter before this, so it was really exciting,” Storako said. “But when you don’t feel completely on and you’re able to trust your defense like that and your defense makes those kinds of plays, it’s really fun to be in the circle. And when I can get pumped up in the circle and provide that energy that we can sometimes be missing, I’m all for that.
“I love a good pump up. I knew day one when I came in here I needed to learn how to fist pump. So yeah, so that was really exciting. And just having that kind of ‘D’ and support and one through 20, everyone smiling ear to ear no matter where you’re at on the field, it’s really easy to play like that.”
In the meantime during all that, the Sooners were scoring and scoring, and doing some more scoring. They belted out six homers in the rout, even going back-to-back-to-back at one point in an 11-run bottom of the fourth inning. Pinch hitters Sophie Nugent, Cydney Sanders and Quincee Lilio teamed up for that feat.
Hansen continued her power display since returning last weekend with two home runs and seven total RBI. Center fielder Jayda Coleman, as she did in the earlier 5-0 win over UIC, went deep as well.
It simply was as impressive a show both ways as possible. The Sooners recorded 13 hits, notching three- and four-spots in the first and second, respectively. And Storako, as mentioned, still proved to headline it all.
“Just the second game absolutely complete, top to bottom,” said head coach Patty Gasso. “Outstanding defense, but really we didn’t have a lot of hard plays because of the great pitches that Alex was throwing for us tonight. So, that’s a big win for us. And against a team that we respect like Kentucky, it was a big win.”
Oklahoma (15-1) returns to action Saturday when it again takes on Kentucky and UIC. This time it’s in reverse order, with the Sooners and Wildcats doing battle at 3 p.m. CT and UIC stepping up for first pitch after that at 5:30 p.m. CT.