Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Advances To Regional Championship With 8-0 Win Over Tulsa

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

You would imagine a team that has won back-to-back national championships would be well-rounded. Oklahoma proved that Saturday afternoon in their regional win over Tulsa to advance to Sunday’s championship.

The Sooners used pitch, power, and defense to take care of their in-state foe. Paige Lowary drew the start from the circle and gave an All-American type performance. Typically a closer, Lowary out-dueled Tusla starter Emily Watson through five innings.

Watson was pulled in the sixth but Lowary went the distance, allowing just one hit and no runs. That hit came in the bottom of the first and from there Lowary made quick work of Tulsa, consecutively sitting down fifteen batters in a row over the second through sixth innings.

“I think you saw an absolute boss on the mound today,” Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said of Lowary’s performance.

“Lowary is tough because you don’t see another pitcher in the country like her,” Tulsa coach John Bargfeldt said. “Throws it hard from the left side.”

“She just has a lot of speed on her and she’s a lefty,” Tulsa third baseman Shelby Estocado added.

While Lowary was getting it done from the circle, her teammates were backing her up both from the plate and in the field.

Oklahoma notched its first run of the game in the top of the third when Fale Aviu took the first pitch of the inning deep for a solo home run.

Two innings later Jocelyn Alo got in on the action by sending a 1-1 pitch out over left field for a two-run shot, making the score 3-0.

“I feel like she can hit anything over the plate, and not over the plate. She’s so good and she hits the ball so hard,” Emily Watson said.

“We throw live in practice and Paige (Parker) and I argue a lot about who has to throw to her,” Lowary said when asked about the freshman’s power.

For the second game in a row Oklahoma put their opponent in position for a run-rule with a monster inning, and for the second game in a row they delivered. Friday it was the fourth inning and Saturday it would be the sixth.

Nicole Pendley led off the inning by delivering Oklahoma’s third home run of the day. The Sooners then sent ten more batters to the plate in a five-run inning, putting the run-rule in play. All that was left to do after that was for Lowary to record the final three outs.

“I thought we came out ready to play” Gasso said. “This is a game changer game that puts you in the driver’s seat.”

The Sooners will play against the winner of the field of Boston University, Missouri, and Tulsa on Sunday afternoon. Oklahoma only needs one more win in order to advance to next weekend’s Super Regional but would have to lose twice in order to be eliminated.

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