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Oklahoma Advances To Softball Championship With 7-3 Win Over LSU

Rich DeCray SBN

Oklahoma's wild ride trough the postseason continued Sunday night with a 7-3 win over LSU that clinched a berth in the championship series of the Women's College World Series. The Sooners have scored first in all three of their games in Oklahoma City including building a 3-0 lead over LSU.

OU scored the first run of the game in the top of the second when Kady Self drove in Nicole Pendley. Then the Sooners added two more in the top of the third when a throwing error allowed Kelsey Arnold to score and a Shay Knighten single through the right side brought in Caleigh Clifton.

LSU's Sahvanna Jaquish erased Oklahoma's lead with a three-run homer to left-center field that reset the game in the bottom of the third. The Sooners came roaring back though with a three-run top of the fourth and then capped off their scoring night when Knighten left the park over the left field wall for her thirteenth home run of the year.

" We couldn't get them out," LSU Head Coach Beth Torina said about Oklahoma's attack of the LSU pitchers.  "We gave them opportunities at the plate.  I don't know if I didn't call a great game, we didn't pitch a great game."

While the LSU coach was frustrated with the result the Sooners produced from the plate, Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said it was exactly what they were looking for.

"The plan was, if we're doing what we do right, we're going to see a multiple amount of pitchers and that was the goal," Gasso said.  "Let's see how many pitchers they're going to throw out there against us.  And we saw all three.  That was kind of a victory for us.  It's what we were looking for."

It's was all blanks on the board for the Tigers, after the Janquish home run, as Oklahoma's Paige Parker came up big once again for the Sooners from the circle. Having pitched every inning of the world series so far for Oklahoma, Parker struck out four LSU batters on Sunday night and worked herself out of jams in route to picking up her 36th win of the year.

"I know my defense is behind me, and I know that they're going to make plays," Parker said when asked about working out of jams. "And it's just all about just going out there and fighting and working as hard as I can to keep them off the bases and from scoring.  So it's just letting my defense work behind me, because I know that they're fantastic, and they have my back."

Sunday night's win improved Oklahoma's record to a perfect 7-0 against the SEC this year and as the Sooners advance into the best-of-three championship series they'll have the SEC champions Auburn Tigers waiting on them.

"They are very well coached team," Parker said about their championship opponents, "and we know it's going to be a battle, and we're just excited to get out there and have a chance to play for a national championship."

"We're going to go out and fight like we always have been," Shay Knighten added.  "It's another game.  We're just going to go out, have each other's backs and just fight until the end, no matter what happens."