Northwestern freshman pitcher Danielle Williams entered the Norman Super Regional with a Big Ten best 31-6 record and a 1.38 ERA. Her counterpart for the day was Giselle “G” Juarez who is one of the best in the business at 25-2 and a 1.18 ERA. Just by looking at the lineup sheet you knew that it was going to be a classic pitcher’s duel in the opener.
Oklahoma couldn’t take advantage of a shaky start from Williams and left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning. Jocelyn Alo did score Sydney Romero with a double off the left-center field wall but plating just one run after getting five runners on base (three by walk) is a bit of a disappointment.
That would end up being Oklahoma’s best opportunity to score until the fifth inning as Williams settled down to frustrate the Sooners into leaving a total of six runners on base, and preventing OU from recording another hit until Romero led off the fifth with a double.
Romero’s hit tied a program record for career doubles (56) and then the senior added to the lead when Caleigh Clifton doubled to send her home.
Shay Knighten added a third run to the board with a single that went through the legs of third baseman Mac Dunlap, giving Giselle Juarez a 3-0 lead to work with.
Juarez struck out 11 of the 25 batters she faced and kept Northwestern off the board in the 3-0 victory. Williams ended up striking out six Oklahoma batters in her five innings of work but was tagged for the three doubles and responsible for all three of OU’s runs.
The win places the Sooners just one more win away from reaching the Women’s College World Series. Oklahoma and Northwestern will play game two of the series at 3:00 Saturday afternoon.