The Oklahoma Sooners aren’t about doing things the conventional way. Being the lowest seeded team in the Women’s College World Series didn’t phase #10 OU at all. The fact that teams who scored first were 11-0 in the tournament and they trailed 2-0 going into the bottom of the 5th wasn’t an issue at all. Oklahoma just did what they were used to doing. They won.
“Just having our backs against the wall, I feel like that’s when we just kind of look to each other to kind of step up,” said Shay Knighten of trailing for the first time since losing in Regional play. “Being behind 2-0 going into the fifth was something that we were like, okay, like it’s time to step up, they’re here to play. What we were doing before, we knew wasn’t working, so we tried to figure out any way that we could just to get back and score, get runners on base, and going back to our regional, I think that did help us because we realized that any game could be our last game, so just go for it.”
With two outs in the top of the fifth, Oregon’s Danica Mercado sent a line drive over the fence in right field to put the Ducks up 2-0. He blast swung momentum Oregon’s way and almost seemingly set up an evening elimination game with the Sooners. That’s when things dramatically changed and, in turn, sealed the Ducks’ fate.
Lea Wodach started the inning by reaching, and then advancing to second on a throwing error. Reagan Rogers came in to run for Wodach and promptly moved to third on a Kelsey Arnold single. Nicole Mendes then reached on a fielder’s choice where Rogers slid past a tag to score the Sooners first run.
With runners now on first and second, and trailing 2-1, Caliegh Clifton advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. That’s when Shay Knighten belted a shot to right field to score both Mendes and Arnold and give Oklahoma the lead. An RBI double would score Knighten and complete the comeback, producing a 4-2 lead.
Patty Gasso then turned to closer Paige Lowary who retired six consecutive batters to close out the game and send the Sooners to the championship series against Florida. First pitch in Game One is set for 6:00 PM (Central) on Monday night.