When you put the top two home run hitting teams on the field together you can expect some fireworks. That’s exactly what we saw on Saturday afternoon in Norman as Oklahoma and Wichita State slugged it out with a spot in the Norman Regional finals on the line. The Sooners and Shockers combined for 12 runs off 17 hits, five home runs, and left nine runners stranded.
Wichita State struck first with a Madison Perrigan solo home run in the top of the first. Oklahoma’s Lynnsie Elam answered in the bottom of the second with her first home run of that. Her solo shot to left center field tied the game and set the tone for things to come.
The tie score lasted for a little more than an inning before Ryleigh Buck sent a solo home run over the wall in left field in the top of the fourth. Trailing 2-1 heading to the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Sooners exploded for six runs on four hits. Oklahoma was aided in the frame by Elam’s second long ball of the day that plated three runs.
That three-run shot by Elam proved to be decisive as Wichita State mounted a rally that included Buck’s second home run on the day to pull WSU to within the final score of 7-5.
Oklahoma burned through all three of its top pitchers to get the win. Shannon Saile got the start and went 3.2 innings before giving way to Giselle Juarez in the fourth. Juarez picked up the win, improving to 17-1 on the season, after throwing two full innings. Freshman Nicole May was clutch in closing the game out. She tossed the final 1.1 innings and held the Shockers scoreless during that span.
This was a huge win for the Sooners because it puts them just one more win away from advancing to the super regional. Everyone else in the field will have to win three more games (including two against OU) in order to advance.
Wichita State will play the winner of the elimination game between Morgan State and Texas A&M. The winner from there will advance to face the Sooners tomorrow.
Follow us on Twitter: @SportsHeartland