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Oklahoma Softball tops Oklahoma State, 6-1, in WCWS

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After a shaky night by her standards, Giselle Juarez was superb against Samantha Show and Oklahoma State.

Sydney homers against ULL in the Norman Super Regional
Sydney homers against ULL in the Norman Super Regional
Rich DeCray

After a pair of dramatic Thursday night wins to open the Women’s College World Series, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State finally faced off in the much-desired and heavily-anticipated Exit 132A matchup between the in-state rivals. In the end, it was the powerhouse Sooners who proved to be a cut above, prevailing by a score of 6-1 in front of the WCWS-record 9,820 fans at USA Hall of Fame Stadium.

Oklahoma wasted little time to get this one started, as Fale Avui got the momentum going with a one-out standup double off of Samantha Show, and two-at-bats later, Jocelyn Alo drove Aviu and Caleigh Clifton home with a single to right. Following a wild pitch and a single from Grace Green, WCWS veteran Shay Knighten drove Alo home with an RBI single of her own to make it 3-0.

In the bottom half, Oklahoma State was able to get one back when Michaela Richbourg singled up the middle to score Rylee Bayless from second. For the next few innings, however, OU and OSU pitchers Giselle Juarez and Samantha Show, respectively, buckled down with lights-out pitching.

Pun absolutely intended.

In the top of the fifth, the Sooners and Cowgirls were delayed due to the light issue for roughly 15 minutes, so the teams were forced to kill time. OSU’s players were pretty zoned in, but OU made sure to stay loose.

After a great opportunity ended with a double-play ball in the fifth, Oklahoma was finally able to get back on the board in the sixth. With two outs and Nicole Mendes on first, Grace Lyons singled to right, ultimately leading to a throw to third and a collision (which Mendes later insisted was accidental) three feet in front of the bag. Oklahoma State’s was Sydney Pennington was unable to keep control of the ball, resulting in the Sooners having runners at second and third. OU’s plate discipline and some erratic OSU pitching did the rest of the work, as a Romero HBP, an Aviu walk, a Clifton HBP and an Alo walk plated three runs for the Sooners, making it 6-1.

Giselle Juarez and Shannon Saile were able to take care of it from there, as OU pitching went on to combine for 13 strikeouts on the night. Juarez ended up with a final line of 6.0 IP, four hits, one earned run, one walk and 11 strikeouts.

Following the game, Patty Gasso commented on the development of her star pitcher since she arrived on campus.

“I think confidence has improved quite a bit. She has been kind of up-and-down. She’s kind of a perfectionist, as well. But tonight I felt a competitior — not that I don’t feel that in other games, but she just really seemed to have control. And I didn’t even know the numbers. To strike out a team — a good, good hitting team like Oklahoma State 13 times with one walk is quite an incredible performance. I just think it’s her gutting up and getting after it.”

Oklahoma has Saturday off and will will be back in action Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN.