No. 1 seed Oklahoma Sooners claim Game 1 of the Norman Super Regional over 16th seeded Northwestern, 3-0. The victory puts OU firmly in the driver’s seat to advance to the Women’s College World Series next week, as only one more win out of a possible two games is needed.
After the game, Patty Gasso addressed the media and spoke about the nature of this 2019 group.
“With this team, you just wait until it happens, and that’s what we did. Defense kept us in the game, Giselle (Juarez) kept us in the game until some of our seniors really clutched up.”
Speaking of which, Big 12 Pitcher of the Year ‘G’ Juarez received the start in the circle for the Sooners on Friday, and on the day the junior struck out 11 Wildcats while only giving up two hits in seven innings pitched.
Juarez also answered questions after the game, and admitted that she felt like she wasn’t on her A-game throughout the afternoon, but she felt she was efficient enough to get the job done.
“I don’t think I had my greatest stuff,” Juarez said. “but I don’t think it was that bad either. I think it just came down to trusting my defense and going out there not putting up bats on the board.”
In the bottom of the first, with Sydney Romero and Caleigh Clifton on base, Jocelyn Alo smacked a pitch to center and nearly hit all of it. The resulting RBI double put Clifton and Alo in scoring position. Shay Knighten would walk later in the inning to load the bases, but Nicole Mendes struck out to leave them all stranded. Oklahoma would take its early 1-0 lead into the second.
After the first, both sides went scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when Romero got things going with a lead-off double. Fellow senior Fale Aviu followed her up with a hit that almost left the yard, but was caught by Northwestern’s center fielder. Clifton made up for it one at-bat later with a center gapper of her own to plate Romero.
Later, Clifton would advance to third on an Alo groundout, and Grace Green would walk to put Sooners on the corners. Knighten capped off the scoring on the day with a single through the third baseman’s legs. The lead and eventual final score was 3-0, Oklahoma.
Next up is Game 2 of the Norman Super Regional, which starts at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN. An if-necessary Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. CT, and would also air on ESPN, should Northwestern bounce back tomorrow.
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