2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

Oklahoma Softball Recap: Sooners Defeat Utah Valley In Puerto Vallarta

Oklahoma Softball Recap: Sooners Defeat Utah Valley In Puerto Vallarta

Three-time defending national champ Oklahoma kicked off its 2024 season with a 13-0 win over Utah Valley at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.

Feb 8, 2024 by Matt Cannizzaro
Oklahoma Softball Recap: Sooners Defeat Utah Valley In Puerto Vallarta

The Oklahoma Sooners made light work of Utah Valley on Thursday, opening their season with a 13-0 victory in the first game of the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, while extending their NCAA-record winning streak to 54 games.

Oklahoma freshman Kasidi Pickering kicked off the rout with a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the first inning. It was the first at-bat of her collegiate career and the first of five RBIs on the day.

The Sooners, whose last loss came in February 2023, scored at least four runs in three of their four opportunities Thursday against the Wolverines, as the quick success meant an early ending to the season-opening game.

Senior Nicole May took the mound for Oklahoma in the absence of All-American Jordy Bahl, who transferred to Nebraska in the offseason.

May handled the situation well, going three innings, which included two strikeouts and a lone infield hit. A pair of sophomores, Kierston Deal and Paytn Monticelli, also saw some action for Oklahoma, each pitching one inning and helping preserve the shutout. 

The trio held the Wolverines to four hits, while striking out four.

Offensively in the win, Oklahoma tallied nine hits, three of which were home runs. Alyssa Brito and Kinzie Hansen contributed back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the second inning. 

Standout senior Jayda Coleman helped the effort for Oklahoma, contributing two hits and two runs in four at-bats as the leadoff hitter. Freshman Ella Parker had a hit and team-best three runs on the day for the Sooners. 

The next hurdle for Oklahoma on its quest to become the first team in history to win four consecutive national championships is a meeting with Duke in the second game of the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.

The No. 1 Sooners will meet the No. 11 Blue Devils at Nancy Almaraz Stadium in Puerto Vallarta on Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern. It will be the first game of the 2024 season for the Blue Devils. 

About The Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

The 2024 edition of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge is loaded with talent. The season-opening event features 15 teams, which will be split into two groups and play 31 total games. 

Oklahoma is playing in the first half of the event from Feb. 8-11 and is joined by Utah Valley, Duke, Washington, Long Beach State, Iowa State and Nebraska. 

Session 2 (Feb. 14-18) will include Clemson, Wichita State, UC San Diego, Auburn, Utah, South Carolina, Mississippi State and UC Davis.

Of the 15 teams, Oklahoma, Washington and Utah were among the eight teams that played in the 2023 Womenโ€™s College World Series in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma, of course, went on to win the title for the third consecutive time, closing the season with a 61-1 record. 

Oklahoma will play four games at the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, beginning with Utah Valley as the competitionโ€™s opening game. It will mark Oklahomaโ€™s third appearance at the event and first since 2020. The Puerto Vallarta College Challenge first was held in 2015.

Utah Valley, which plays in the Western Athletic Conference, finished 2023 with a 17-32 overall record and 10-14 mark in conference play. 

The Wolverines have played at the Division I level since 2004, and their only trip to the NCAA Tournament came in 2014 as a reward for their lone WAC championship.

Utah Valley now is 0-5 all-time against the Sooners, which includes a pair of losses in 2006 and two more in 2015.

The Oklahoma roster again is loaded with talent and experience, but the Sooners will need to gain their footing without Bahl, who won more than 40 games in her two seasons on the mound.

Box Score

Team12345RunsHitsErrorsLeft On 
UVU000000414
OU4540X13905

Oklahoma Softball Defeats Utah Valley 13-0

The first game of Oklahoma's title defense ends with a 13-0 win over Utah Valley. 

The second game of the doubleheader will see the Sooners put their 54-game winning streak on the line against an up-and-coming Duke squad.

Sooners Make Pitching Change For Final Inning

Sophomore Paytn Monticelli takes the mound for Oklahoma for the final inning against Utah Valley. 

Oklahoma Softball Held Scoreless In Fourth Inning

For the first time in their matchup with Utah Valley, the Sooners did not score a run. 

The bottom half of the fourth inning ended quietly, and the score remains 13-0.

Oklahoma Escapes Based-Loaded Jam 

The Sooners showed they're not just an offensive team, as Kierston Deal and her defense are able to escape a based-loaded jam in the top of the fourth inning against Utah Valley.

The Wolverines loaded the bases with one out, but a strike out and a ground out saw the inning end without a run crossing the plate for Utah Valley. The score remains 13-0.

OU Softball Makes Pitching Change

Sophomore left-hander Kierston Deal comes in to pitch the fourth inning for Oklahoma.

She replaces started Nicole May, who struck out two and allowed just one hit through three innings.

Oklahoma Plates Four More Runs In Puerto Vallarta, Leads Utah Valley 13-0

Alynah Torres and Hannah Coor score on a Jayda Coleman double down the line, making the score 11-0. Coleman then scores on a based-loaded sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Riley Ludlam.

Pickering then plates Ella Parker with another sacrifice fly, extending the lead to 13-0 through three innings.

Nicole May Dominant Through Three Innings For OU Softball

Redshirt junior Laynee Betancur picked up the first hit of the season for Utah Valley, a two-out chopper up the middle that allowed her to reach base without a throw.

The momentum ended there, however, and the top of the third innings ends with Oklahoma still leading 9-0.

Oklahoma Softball Adds To Lead At Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

The Sooners scored five more runs on five hits in the bottom of the second inning against Utah Valley.

First, freshman Ella Parker singled up the middle to score Jayda Coleman and Rylie Boone, and some miscues by the Wolverines allowed Parker to score, too, giving Oklahoma a 7-0 lead.

Later in the inning, back-to-back home runs by Alyssa Brito and Kinzie Hansen upped the advantage to 9-0 - all before an out was recorded.

Watch OU Softball Freshman Kasidi Pickering's Home Run

Oklahoma freshman Kasidi Pickering started her collegiate career with this blast at the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. She put the Sooners up 4-0 against Utah Valley in their first game of the 2024 season.

null


Utah Valley Stopped Again By OU Softball And Nicole May

Oklahoma is shutting down Utah Valley early. Nicole May has retired all six batters she's seen so far. Oklahoma maintains 4-0 lead and looks to add more in the bottom of the second.

Oklahoma Softball Strikes First In Mexico

In her first collegiate at-bat, freshman Kasidi Pickering delivered a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the first inning to put the Sooners ahead 4-0. 

OU had loaded the based with three walks by Utah Valley's Halle Morris.

OU Softball Shuts Down Utah Valley In Top Of First Inning

Nicole May and the Sooners made quick work of the Wolverines to start the day/season. Three up, three down.

Senior Jayda Coleman gets the honor of being the first hitter for Oklahoma in 2024.

Oklahoma Softball And Utah Valley Underway At Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

The 2024 NCAA softball season is underway in Mexico, and Oklahoma's title defense officially has begun. 

It's an OU doubleheader and the first of four games scheduled for FloSoftball on Thursday!

All-Big 12 pitcher Nicole May (senior) gets the start for the Sooners. Her first pitch was a strike!

When Is The Utah Valley Vs. Oklahoma Softball Game?

Utah Valley will take on Oklahoma at Nancy Almaraz Stadium in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern.

How To Watch The Utah Valley Vs. Oklahoma Softball Game

Watch the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge on FloSoftball and the FloSports app.

FloSoftball will be streaming several NCAA Division I college softball tournaments, including the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, THE Spring Games and the Mark Campbell Collegiate Invitational.

When Did Oklahoma Softball's Record Winning Streak Begin?

Oklahoma enters the 2024 softball season with a record 53-game winning streak, but when did it begin?

Well, the Sooners' last loss was a 4-3 upset against Baylor at the Getterman Classic on Feb. 19, 2023.

OU bounced back with a win over Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 24 to kick off the action at the 2023 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The rest....is history.

Utah Valley Wolverines Against The Field At The Puerto Vallarta College Classic

Utah Valley is 1-12 against the four opponents it will face in Mexico. 

The lone win came against Iowa State in 2017. Otherwise, the Wolverines are 0-7 against Washington, 0-4 against Oklahoma and 0-1 against Nebraska. 

All-time against ranked opponents, Utah Valley is 1-38. The one victory came against No. 25 Cal State Fullerton in 2015.

OU Softball Leadership

Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso is in her 30th year with the Sooners. She has compiled a 1,456-345-2 record.

Oh, and she played at Long Beach State, which will be OU's final opponent at the Puerto Vallarta College Classic (Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern).

Young Utah Valley Team To Take On Juggernaut OU Softball

While Oklahoma softball was winning three consecutive national titles, Utah Valley head coach Cody Thomson was just getting comfortable. He'll now start his third year with the Wolverines by facing the Sooners in Puerto Vallarta.

Thomson's squad also is as green as one of the school colors, with 13 newcomers this year, including nine true freshmen. 

2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge Schedule

Here's the complete schedule for both weekends:

Session 1

All times Eastern

Feb. 8

  • 11:30 a.m. โ€“ Utah Valley vs. Oklahoma
  • 2 p.m. โ€“ Duke vs. Oklahoma
  • 5 p.m. โ€“ Iowa State vs. Utah Valley
  • 7:30 p.m. โ€“ Nebraska vs. Washington

Feb. 9

  • 11 a.m. โ€“ Duke vs. Iowa State
  • 1:30 p.m. โ€“ Duke vs. Nebraska
  • 4 p.m. โ€“ Long Beach vs. Nebraska
  • 7 p.m. โ€“ Utah Valley vs. Washington
  • 9:30 p.m. โ€“ Oklahoma vs. Washington

Feb. 10

  • 11:30 a.m. โ€“ Nebraska vs. Utah Valley
  • 2 p.m. โ€“ Oklahoma vs. Long Beach
  • 5 p.m. โ€“ Washington vs. Iowa State
  • 7:30 p.m. โ€“ Duke vs. Long Beach

Feb. 11

  • 10 a.m. โ€“ Iowa State vs. Long Beach

Session 2

All times Eastern

Feb. 14

  • 1 p.m. โ€“ Clemson vs. Wichita State

Feb. 15

  • 11 a.m. โ€“ UC San Diego vs. Clemson
  • 1:30 p.m. โ€“ UC Davis vs. Auburn
  • 4 p.m. โ€“ Utah vs. Auburn
  • 7 p.m. โ€“ Wichita State vs. South Carolina
  • 9:30 p.m. โ€“ Utah vs. South Carolina

Feb. 16

  • 11 a.m. โ€“ Mississippi State vs. UC Davis
  • 1:30 p.m. โ€“ South Carolina vs. UC Davis
  • 4 p.m. โ€“ UC San Diego vs. Mississippi State
  • 7 p.m. โ€“ Clemson vs. Utah
  • 9:30 p.m. โ€“ Auburn vs. Wichita State

Feb. 17

  • 11 a.m. โ€“ South Carolina vs. UC San Diego
  • 1:30 p.m. โ€“ UC Davis vs. Wichita State
  • 4 p.m. โ€“ Clemson vs. Auburn
  • 7 p.m. โ€“ Mississippi State vs. Utah
  • 9:30 p.m. โ€“ Mississippi State vs. Clemson

Feb. 18

  • 11 a.m. โ€“ UC San Diego vs. Utah

Oklahoma Softball Schedule 2024

In the history of college softball, there have been few runs like the world has seen from Oklahoma over the last three seasons. But the Sooners canโ€™t rest on that past success. 

Take a look at the 2024 Oklahoma softball schedule and all you need to know about the Sooners heading into the new campaign HERE.

Donโ€™t Sleep On Utah Valley Softball

Not just anyone gets invited to the top-tier events, so someone must have seen some potential in the Utah Valley Wolverines.

Learn more about them now: Schedule | Roster | News

Other Things To Watch Around The College Softball World This Week

Oklahoma and a handful of ranked teams will start their seasons in Mexico. Others will find their way to events across the country. Rest assured, there will NOT be a shortage of softball action this week on FloSoftball.

HERE is a look at where the top 25 teams will be starting the 2024 season.

Additional Events:

FAU Paradise Classic in Boca Raton, Florida (Feb. 8-11)

Candrea Classic in Tucson, Arizona (Feb. 8-11)

Mark Campbell Invitational in Irvine, California (Feb. 10)

THE Spring Games Opening Weekend (Feb. 15-18)

2024 College Softball Rankings

Here is the D1Softball Preseason Top 25 Poll, with last seasonโ€™s overall records included.

Rank

Team

2023 Record

1

Oklahoma

61-1

2

Stanford

47-15

3

Tennessee

51-10

4

Florida State

58-11

5

Texas

45-15-1

6

Georgia

42-15

7

Clemson

49-12

8

Duke

48-12

9

UCLA

52-7

10

Washington

44-15

11

Alabama

45-22

12

Oklahoma State

47-16

13

Nebraska

36-22

T-14

Oregon

38-17

T-14

Utah

42-16

16

Baylor

40-18

17

LSU

42-17

18

Arkansas

40-19

19

Auburn

43-19

20

Florida

38-22

21

Louisiana

50-16

22

South Carolina

40-22

23

San Diego State

39-17

24

Northwestern

42-13

25

Texas A&M

35-21

FloSoftball Archived Footage

Video footage from past seasons is archived and stored in a video library for FloSoftball subscribers to watch for the duration of their subscriptions.

Join The Conversation On Social