2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

No. 1 Oklahoma Softball Recap: Sooners Top Duke 3-0

No. 1 Oklahoma Softball Recap: Sooners Top Duke 3-0

Oklahoma had a busy Opening Day 2024 but picked up a pair of wins at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, topping Utah Valley (13-0) and Duke (3-0).

Feb 8, 2024 by Matt Cannizzaro
No. 1 Oklahoma Softball Recap: Sooners Top Duke 3-0

It may have taken Oklahoma a little longer to find its stride Thursday afternoon against Duke at the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Classic, but the top-ranked Sooners used a third-inning surge to earn a 3-0 win and extend their NCAA-record winning streak to 55 games.

The Oklahoma (2-0) rally at Nancy Almaraz Stadium in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, started with senior Tiare Jennings knocking an 0-2 pitch over the center field wall to put the Sooners up 1-0. 

An RBI single from Alynah Torres doubled the lead and knocked out Duke ace Cassidy Curd, who left with two runners on base.

Freshman Kasidi Pickering delivered the final run of the inning with an infield RBI single. Pickering, who hit a grand slam in her first collegiate at-bat earlier Thursday against Utah Valley, tallied six RBIs across the two wins.

In all, Oklahoma collected eight hits in the ball game against Duke but left 10 runners on base.

The Sooners kicked off their season, the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge and their latest title defense with a 13-0 win over Utah Valley. Oklahoma’s last loss came against Baylor on Feb. 19, 2023.

The winning pitchers in the two victories Thursday were Nicole May and Oklahoma State transfer Kelly Maxwell, respectively, as the Sooners aim to answer questions about where the pitching staff stands following the transfer of ace Jordy Bahl to Nebraska in the offseason.

Kierston Deal (Game 1), Paytn Monticelli (Game 1) and Karlie Keeney (Game 2) also saw action in the circle Thursday for the Sooners.

Bahl is expected to make her Huskers debut Thursday night in Puerto Vallarta against Washington, while her former Oklahoma teammates take the rest of the day off.

The Sooners will return to action at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge on Friday night, taking on Washington at 9:30 p.m. Eastern, before wrapping up their time at the event against Long Beach State on Saturday at 2 p.m. EST.

In the loss, Duke (0-1) managed three hits overall and left five runners on base. 

Outside of the third inning, Duke’s Curd, Lillie Walker and Jala Wright pitched well and were supported by a strong defensive effort. 

Curd took responsibility for three hits and three runs, while Walker surrendered two hits, and Wright gave up two. They combined for five walks and four strikeouts.

The Oklahoma-Duke matchup Thursday was the second between the newcomer and the longtime powerhouse. They opened their seasons against each other at the Mark Campbell Invitational in 2023, with Oklahoma winning 4-0.

The Oklahoma softball team was nearly untouchable in 2023, posting a 61-1 record on the way to a third consecutive national championship. Duke finished the year a program-best 48-12.

Next up for Duke at the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge is brunch doubleheader with Iowa State on Friday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern and Nebraska at 1:30 p.m. EST.

Duke’s final game at the event will be against Long Beach State on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

The 2024 edition of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge is loaded with talent. The season-opening event features 15 teams, split into two groups for 31 games of valuable competition. 

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 WCWS in Oklahoma City. 

Oklahoma previously played in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in 2017 and 2020. The event was held for the first time in 2015.

The Duke softball team has enjoyed a fast rise in a sport that has its fair share of dominant teams. 

The Blue Devils have been a team for just five full seasons, and they’re coming off a program-best 48-win season. They were 48-12 overall and 19-5 in the ACC last year, marching all the way to the super-regional round, where they were eliminated from the NCAA Division I Softball Championship by Stanford. 

In their session of “fall ball” to end 2023, the Blue Devils were 9-0, a run that included outscoring their opponents 89-9. 

The fall session ended on Oct. 22 with a doubleheader against North Carolina A&T, meaning Duke’s first regulation game in more than three months was its meeting Thursday with the No. 1 team in the nation. 

Continue to follow all the action from Mexico, as FloSoftball provides news and notes from each game at the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.

Check Out The Tiare Jennings Home Run That Put OU Softball Ahead Against Duke

Tiare Jennings homered in the third inning against Duke to kick off a three-run rally.

Box Score


Oklahoma Softball Defeats Duke 3-0 At Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

A three-run third inning was the difference, as Oklahoma holds on to defeat Duke 3-0 at the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.

OU now is 2-0 in 2024 and owns a record 55-game winning streak.

Duke Threatens In Final Opportunity Against Oklahoma 

A walk, a single and a hit batter load the bases for Duke with one out in the final inning.

Karlie Keeney answers with a strikeout and a fielder's choice out at third base.

Oklahoma gets the win. Keeney gets the save.

Blue Devils Defense Ends Another OU Softball Threat

The Blue Devils escaped the bottom of the sixth inning by throwing out Ella Parker at third base.

Duke steps up in the top of the seventh inning with one last chance to erase a 3-0 deficit. 

Top Half Of Sixth Inning Ends With Double Play

Karlie Keeney got out of the sixth inning with a 1-6-3 double play for Oklahoma. 

The Sooners come to the plate and will face another Duke pitcher. Jala Wright enters the game. 

Cassidy Curd started the game and went 2 2/3 innings, before Lillie Walker went the next 2 1/3.

Watch Kelly Maxwell's First Strikeout As An Oklahoma Sooner

Kelly Maxwell Replaced On Mound For OU Softball

Kelly Maxwell, a transfer from Oklahoma State, went five innings in her Oklahoma debut. She gave up one hit and struck out two. She retired 12 straight Blue Devils at one point.

Karlie Keeney takes over the circle for the sixth inning. Oklahoma leads 3-0.

Oklahoma Threatens In Fifth Inning

The top half of the fifth inning was quiet for Duke, and it started that way for Oklahoma, before the Sooners were able to get a couple of runners on base.

The Duke defense was stellar, however, as a diving catch and a bang-bang play kept OU from crossing the plate. Oklahoma stranded two in the inning and have left nine on base through five innings. 

Duke Falls Short In Top Of Fourth Inning

The Blue Devils did not have an answer for the Sooners in the top half of the fourth innings. 

The score remains 3-0. Oklahoma coming up.

Oklahoma Softball Scores First With Jennings Home Run

Senior Tiare Jennings was able to finally help Oklahoma break through against Duke at the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.

Jennings popped an 0-2 pitch over the center field wall during the bottom of the third inning to give the Sooners a 1-0 advantage. 

Jennings is third all-time at Oklahoma with 74 home runs. See the complete list HERE.

The home run was the fourth for Oklahoma through seven offensive innings across two games Thursday. 

OU added to the lead with two outs in the third inning, as Alynah Torres knocked a single to score Maya Bland. 

The second run forced Duke pitcher Cassidy Curd out of the game. She was replaced by senior Lillie Walker, who entered the game with runners on first and third.

Freshman Kasidi Pickering hit an infield RBI single to extend the lead to 3-0, before Walker was able to end the inning. Pickering now has six RBIs across the two games Thursday, including a grand slam in the first at-bat of her career. 

OU Softball Returns Favor In The Top Of The Third

Kelly Maxwell and the Oklahoma defense made quick work of the Blue Devils in the top of the third inning. 

The Blue Devils still have the only hit of the game. They've left two runners on base, while Oklahoma has stranded four.

Duke Silencing Oklahoma Softball

After a nine-hit, 13-run blowout earlier in the day against Utah Valley, the Oklahoma Sooners don't have an answer for the Duke Blue Devils and starting pitcher Cassidy Curd. 

OU is hitless through two innings.

The game is tied at zero entering the top of the third.

OU Softball Defensive Highlights Keep Game Against Duke Scoreless

The Oklahoma defensive is as stellar against Duke as the offense was against Utah Valley earlier Thursday at the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.

The Sooners have been able to keep Duke scoreless through two innings. 

Starting pitcher Kelly Maxwell has given up one hit and struck out one. She also has hit one batter.

Oklahoma Strands Three In Opening Inning Against Duke

Oklahoma had two on and no outs in its opening inning against Duke, but Blue Devils sophomore Cassidy Curd shut the door.

She recorded a strike out and a pop out, before hitting Cydney Sanders to load the bases. 

Curd got slugger Alyssa Brito to fly out to left field to end the inning. Brito homered in the Sooners' season-opening game against Utah Valley.

Maxwell, Oklahoma Escape First Inning Against Duke Unscathed

It took a bit for Oklahoma newcomer Kelly Maxwell to get settled, but she was able to hold Duke scoreless in the opening inning of their game at the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, despite allowing two Blue Devils to reach base.

Oklahoma-Duke Game Is Underway In Puerto Vallarta

Oklahoma sends All-American Kelly Maxwell to the mound to start Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader.

The left-hander made headlines in the offseason, transferring from Oklahoma State.

The first pitch of Maxwell's OU career was knocked into the outfield for a base hit by Duke sophomore D'Auna Jennings. 

When Is The Duke Vs. Oklahoma Softball Game?

Duke will take on Oklahoma at Nancy Almaraz Stadium in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

How To Watch The Duke 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.

Oklahoma Softball Extends Winning Streak To 54 Games

In case you missed it, the Oklahoma Sooners defeated Utah Valley 13-0 on Thursday at the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge to extend their record winning streak to 54 games.

Check out the details HERE.

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. – Utah Valley vs. Oklahoma
  • 2 p.m. – Duke vs. Oklahoma
  • 5 p.m. – Iowa State vs. Utah Valley
  • 7:30 p.m. – Nebraska vs. Washington

Feb. 9

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

Feb. 10

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

Feb. 11

  • 10 a.m. – Iowa State vs. Long Beach

Session 2

All times Eastern

Feb. 14

  • 1 p.m. – Clemson vs. Wichita State

Feb. 15

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

Feb. 16

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

Feb. 17

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

Feb. 18

  • 11 a.m. – 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 can’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.

The Quick Rise Of Duke Softball

The Duke softball team burst onto the scene in 2018, compiling a 29-27 record. 

In 2019, the Blue Devils fell to 25-31, but the COVID-shortened 2020 saw the start of Duke’s surge, as evidenced by a 23-4 mark, before the season was cut short.

In the three seasons that followed, Duke has claimed 136 wins (44-12, 44-11, 48-12) and is coming off back-to-back trips to the super-regional round. 

At the 2024 Puerto Vallarta College Classic this week, Duke will face No. 1 Oklahoma, Iowa State, No. 13 Nebraska and Long Beach State.

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 season’s overall records included.



2023 Record











Florida State
























Oklahoma State






























South Carolina



San Diego State






Texas A&M


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.

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