There will be no repeat for Oklahoma's softball team. The 2013 national champions were eliminated from the Women's College World Series on Saturday night by the top-seeded Oregon Ducks.
In a game that just seemed as if the Sooners were outmatched, it would be just a few plays that doomed Oklahoma's scrappy club of ballers. Shelby Pendley got the start for OU and kept the Ducks' offense at bay through the first two innings but a mishap in the third cost them on the scoreboard.
Pendley pegged Oregon's lead off batter, Nikki Undria, and then walked Alyssa Gillespie two batters later. With two on and just one out the Ducks were in prime position to make something happen and that's exactly what they did. Janie Takeda doubled to score Undria and then Kailee Cuico knocked in two more on a double. Aided by two free passes, Oregon would score more runs in the third than Oklahoma would in the entire game.
That didn't keep Pendley or the Sooners from fighting their way back in though. Jessica Vest knocked in Georgia Casey in the fourth and then Pendley went yard in the fifth to bring Oklahoma back to within 3-2. That would be it though as Oregon added a run in the top of the seventh to get to the final score of 4-2.
The Sooners just weren't aggressive enough from the plate to make a run in this tournament and they admitted as much after the game. "We've got to give credit to the pitchers we were facing but we still could have been better," Lauren Chamberlain, who was 0-3 on the night with two strikeouts, said following the loss.
Perhaps its a lesson that they'll learn going into next season, in much of the same way the 2013 team learned from their trip in 2012. In the frustration and disappointment of being bounced from the tournament, it shouldn't be over looked that Oklahoma has been to the Women's College World Series three years in a row now.
With the youthful talent that they'll have returning next spring, there's no doubt that the mindset will be for four in a row, and revenge will be on their minds. "Ending on a loss always fuels us for the next season," Chamberlain added as she was wrapping up with the press.