On a cloudy Saturday afternoon, the No. 1 seeded Oklahoma Sooners (47-2) took care of business against the Wichita State Shockers, claiming a decisive 7-5 victory in the 2021 Norman Regional. With the win, OU moves on to Sunday’s regional final and is now one win away from advancing to the Super Regional round of this year’s NCAA Softball Tournament.
— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 22, 2021
FINAL | No. 1 OU 7, Wichita State 5#ChampionshipMindset pic.twitter.com/mVC3m9Pdqg
Redshirt senior righty Shannon Saile got the start in the circle for Oklahoma on Saturday, and through 3.2 innings, she gave up two solo home runs on four hits with no strikeouts. Senior Giselle ‘G’ Juarez spelled Saile in the fourth, but after just 2.0 IP, she surrendered three runs on a trio of hits while only recording a pair of Ks. Down the stretch, freshman Nicole May later came in to close the door and seal the deal.
In the top of the first inning, senior Shocker Madison Perrigan cranked a solo shot to left after a lengthy at-bat versus OU’s Saile to take an early 1-0 lead over the Sooners. Other than that, the rest of Wichita State’s lineup had nothing else going for the remainder of the frame.
Oklahoma responded in the bottom of the second as senior Lynnsie Elam put her team on the board with a lead-off, solo home run to left. That was it for the host team as the game was all knotted up at 1-1 after two.
'— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 22, 2021
The senior captain @lynn_elam22 ties us up!
B2 | OU 1, WSU 1 | ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/ZocuezTS9v
In the top of the fourth, Wichita State recorded another solo homer to regain the lead before Saile was replaced by Juarez in the circle for OU. The Shockers led, 2-1 after four.
The Sooners finally exploded in the bottom of the fifth. After the WSU pitcher walked senior Nicole Mendes, freshman Tiare Jennings doubled to center to plate Mendes and tie the game. National Player of the Year finalist Jocelyn Alo followed that up with an RBI double of her own to give Oklahoma its first lead of the day, and sophomore Kinzie Hansen recorded an RBI single immediately after that. Later, freshman Jayda Coleman reached on a fielder’s choice and junior Grace Lyons walked, setting the stage for Elam once again. With her three-run homer, OU extended its advantage to 7-2 after five.
!!! @lynn_elam22 with her second home run of the game and Marita Hynes Field is ' ️— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 22, 2021
OU 7, WSU 2 | ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/YXhOjEai8x
The Shockers battled in the top of the sixth in a rallying attempt, and even notched a three-run shot of their own to cut into their deficit. Ultimately, Oklahoma kept them off the board from that point on to hold on for a gutsy 7-5 win.
Up next, Oklahoma now awaits to play the last team standing between Wichita State, Morgan State and Texas A&M. Whichever team survives the two elimination games being played on Saturday will get to face the Sooners on Sunday at 3 p.m. CT. An OU win there would result in the 2021 Norman Regional title, but should Patty Gasso’s group suffer a loss, an if-necessary, winner-take-all contest would come into play immediately afterward at 5:30 p.m. CT.
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