Oklahoma got off to a red-hot start against Michigan on Saturday night, scoring three runs in the top of the first. The second-seeded Wolverines weren't going to back down though and the game tuned into the type of slug-fest that the softball world was hoping for with the two highest seeds remaining in the tournament going after one another.
Shay Kighten's single up the middle opened up the scoring for Oklahoma by bringing in Erin Miller and Caleigh Clifton. Knighten would then come home on a throwing error by Michigan catcher Aidan Falk to increase the lead to 3-0. The score remained that way until the top of the third when Sydney Romero went deep to left field for a solo shot home run that expanded OU's lead to 4-0.
Michigan came storming back in the bottom of the fourth when Falk left the park to right field to score herself and Kelsey Susalla. The Wolverines made it a one run game later in the inning when Natalie Peters came in on a Sierra Romero infield single.
Looking for a bit of insurance, that the Sooners would very much need, Nicole Pendley sent a solo home run to left field, in the top of the sixth, to make the score 5-3 Oklahoma. "I was just trying to hit the ball hard and try and find the ball in the zone and swing at strikes and just get a base hit," Pendley said afterwards.
In the seventh Fale Aviu would draw a bases-loaded walk to score Clifton and Sydney Romero would come in on a Kady Self single.
Facing a 7-3 deficit going into their final at bat Michigan gave it one more run and nearly pulled off a miraculous come back. Falk recorded her third hit of the night to score Sierra Romero and, with the bases loaded, Lindsay Monternarano singled to the left side to score Nikki Wald.
Oklahoma's Paige Parker went the distance for the Sooners from the circle and got Abby Ramirez to ground out to end the game and preserve her 35th win of the season, and Oklahoma's 29th consecutive win, with a 7-5 final.
"Just to go out there and do whatever I had to do to win that game," Parker said of the final frame, "and I knew I just had to throw a strike, and I knew my defense would be there, and when the ball came to me, I was just focused on making a good throw over to first. It was just such a hard fought seventh inning and just going out there and doing whatever I could to win the game."
The Sooners will now wait for the winner of LSU and Georgia. They will play that game at 8:30 Sunday night. The Sooners need just one more win to reach the championship series and would now have to lose twice in a row to miss out on it.