After two straight national championship seasons, The Oklahoma Sooners’ run came to an end at the hands of Washington by a score of 3-0 in the semifinal round of the Women’s College World Series. OU was shut out by Washington for the second time this week, and the game involved yet another controversial call in the outfield.
Oklahoma trailed 2-0 in the top of the fifth with Kelsey Arnold and Jocelyn Alo at second and first, respectively. Shay Knighten then flared one into right field and was robbed by what initially appeared to be a clean (at least to me at that very moment) catch by Trysten Melhart. Upon further review, the ball must’ve defied gravity while under the glove.
As most of you are aware, Knighten was robbed by the same player in somewhat similar fashion of Thursday. I tend to lean towards a catch in the first instance (although there’s been plenty of disagreement on that), but that’s not the case for me this time around. Can it be proven that she didn’t catch it? Not really, but I simply don’t see how the ball avoids rolling on the ground under that glove. There’s the argument of the other hand being under it, but that hand was free for at least a few tenths of a second whilst the glove hand on the ground.
Washington’s Julia DePonte, who went 3-3 on the day, hit a solo shot a half-inning later to give the Huskies what seemed like an insurmountable lead at the time.
Paige Lowary earned the start for the Sooners on Sunday in place of Paige Parker, who pitched two shutout games on Saturday to keep OU alive. However, Parker was called to the mound with a 1-0 deficit in the third inning of this one. She ended up allowing four hits and one earned run while striking out four batters in her final collegiate game.
"She's one of the best this sport has ever seen. And people should recognize that. I do." - Gasso. #Sooners— John McKelvey (@John_McKelvey) June 3, 2018
OU was able to muster seven hits on Sunday against UW, but an inability to take advantage of opportunities with runners in scoring position came back to bite the Sooners in this one. Nevertheless, Patty Gasso’s Sooners had yet another incredible run in 2018 and definitely shouldn’t hang their heads. There’s plenty of pitching talent to replace, but the Sooners return a good chunk of their position players, including Jocelyn Alo, Shay Knighten and Sydney Romero.
The championship streak may be over, but don’t expect OU’s run of softball greatness to end anytime soon.