The No. 1 seeded Oklahoma Sooners have punched their ticket to OKC after thoroughly dominating Northwestern on Saturday, 8-0, in Game 2 of the Norman Super Regional. With the win, OU is headed back to the Women’s College World Series to try to win its third national title in four years and its fifth championship overall.
After the game, the Sooners carried on the tradition of taking a slab of mat from the outfield wall and placing it on home plate as they earn another trip to the WCWS.
During the postgame presser, head coach Patty Gasso spoke about her team’s commitment to excellence.
“The expectation is that they should be one of the top eight teams in the country, so I kind of like seeing celebrations, but I love that they have that expectation and they strive for it.”
Mariah Lopez got the start in the circle for the Sooners on Saturday. In 4.2 innings pitched, the junior logged five strikeouts while only giving up two hits. Junior Shannon Saile came in to relieve her pitching comrade, closing out the Wildcats with three strikeouts and no hits given up.
The Sooners opened up the game with back-to-back hits from seniors Sydney Romero (single) and Fale Aviu (double), the latter of which plated the first run of the game. Oklahoma quickly jumped out to a 1-0 after the first frame.
OU’s bats heated up big time in the top of the third. Romero got things started with a booming solo home run to left center. After a Caleigh Clifton walk, Jocelyn Alo sent another Northwestern pitch flying towards almost the exact same spot as the one before.
Next, Grace Green was walked and Shay Knighten blooped one to right. The Sooners’ lead then grew to 5-0 after Nicole Mendes singled to left, plating Green. A controversial squeeze play following a Lynnsie Elam bunt and a Grace Lyons grounder to third ultimately ended Oklahoma’s run in the inning, but the damage was done.
Green led-off the Sooners in the fifth, and hit Oklahoma’s third home run of the day. Later in the sixth, Clifton gave the OU faithful its fourth over-the-wall bomb of the contest. Finally, Elam took her turn at the plate to send one out of the park in the seventh. The resulting 8-0 lead would prove to be the game’s final margin.
With 8th-seeded Alabama beating Texas in the Tuscaloosa Super Regional on Saturday, the Sooners and the Crimson Tide will meet up in the first round of the WCWS beginning next Thursday. Oklahoma is aiming to become to third program to have its seniors win three national championships in their career. To date, only UCLA and Arizona have accomplished this feat.
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