Saturday brought the complete gauntlet of emotions for Oklahoma Softball. Before the Sooners could face Arizona in a highly anticipated Top 4 matchup they had to face Long Beach State (a team they beat 10-3 last weekend) in the early game. Anticipation and excitement quickly morphed into mounting frustration as an epic seventh inning meltdown resulted in the first loss of the season.
With no time to let the shock of the loss wear off the Sooners were back on the diamond to face the Wildcats in a showdown that could easily have had the backdrop of ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
Had this game been played in early June some of the personnel would most likely be different but all of the drama would probably still remain. Both coaches chose not to go with their aces, rather try to develop younger arms in a big atmosphere.
Both teams traded runs in the fourth inning but the real excitement picked up in the fifth. Oklahoma took a 2-1 lead in the top of the inning off an RBI single from Taylon Snow that scored Eliyah Flores. In the bottom of the fifth a pair of RBI singles from Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza and Reyna Carranco plated a total of three runs and firmly put the Sooners against the ropes with a 4-2 deficit.
Lynnsie Elam pulled OU back to within one with a solo home run in the top of the sixth and then Snow knocked in her second RBI in the top of the seventh to even things up at 4-4, ultimately sending the game to extra innings.
After scoreless eighth and ninth innings the Sooners struck again in the top of the tenth for what would end up being the deciding runs. A fielding error from left fielder Isabella Dayton allowed Snow and Mackenzie Donihoo to come home, producing the winning score of 6-4.
Freshman Macy McAdoo started in the circle for Oklahoma. She threw 4.2 innings and was responsible for all four of Arizona’s runs. She was lifted in the fifth for Olivia Rains who allowed just one hit over her 4.2 innings of work and picked up her first win of the season (1-0).
Shannon Sail was called upon for the final two outs of the night, picking up her fourth save of the season.
Former Sooner Mariah Lopez was in the circle for the final four innings for the Wildcats and picked up her first loss of the season (6-1).
The Sooners will wrap up the Hillenbrand Invitational on Sunday with a game against Northern Iowa. First pitch is slated for 11:00 am.
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