Things started out well for the defending national champs on Thursday night but they sure didn't end that way as the Oklahoma Sooners dropped the opener of the Women's College World Series to Alabama by a score of 6-2.
All American Shelby Pendley sent the ball over the left field wall in the bottom of the first to put the Sooners up 1-0. It would end up being the only hit that Oklahoma recorded on the night as Bama pitched around Lauren Chamberlin in an effort to force someone else to beat them. Unfortunately, OU couldn't come up with a response.
"I know we're a better offensive team," Oklahoma Head Coach Patty Gasso said after the game. "We're better than that. We took too many pitches off tonight. You can't just step up in the 7th and try to win when you're down by four. You just can't."
Marissa Runyan sent an RBI single down the right field line to tie the game at 1-1 in bottom of the second. With the score holding serve through the third inning, the Sooners struck again in the fourth in an effort to topple the tournament's top seed.
Erin Miller two-out walk in the top of the 4th for OU and then was followed by a slap shot by Callie Parsons, that was ruled an error by the short stop, to give Oklahoma runners on first and second. A few plays later a throwing error by Alabama's Leona Lafaele scored Miller to put OU up 2-1. That's where the fun stopped for Oklahoma though.
Singles by Kaila Hunt and Molly Fichtner gave the Tide runners on first in second in the bottom of the fourth. Then Peyton Grantham put Bama up 4-2 with a three-run blast over the left field fence..
Bama extended their lead to the final score of 6-2 in the next frame when Jadyn Spencer went yard with a two-run shot.
"We can't give up the bombs like that," Gasso said. We just can't. We've got to keep the ball in the yard."
Keeping the ball in the yard will be the top priority for the Sooners again on Saturday when they face Louisiana-Lafayette in an elimination game. The Ragin' Cajuns have one of the top offensive teams in the country.
Alabama will play against SEC foe Florida on Friday evening.