There was no controversy on Saturday as Oklahoma pounded Washington into submission to qualify for the Women’s College World Series. A day after the Huskies claimed an irregular batter’s box threw them off their game the Sooners pounded U-Dub for 9 runs off 11 hits and went yard three times, leaving zero doubt as to who the better team was at the Norman Regional.
One of the three home runs was off the bat of senior Jocelyn Alo who took fellow Player of the Year candidate Gabbie Plain deep in the top of the fourth inning. Alo swung at the first pitch that she saw and sent the ball out over the wall at right center field, tying the school record she already shared with former Sooner great Lauren Chamberlain with 30 home runs in a season. With the World Series ahead of them next week there’s more than a solid chance she will stand alone with that record at the end of the season.
Alo finished the day going 3-for-3 from the plate with a run scored and three RBI. She also drew a walk in making her case for National Player of the Year in the first college softball game every broadcast on ABC. Jana Johns (3rd inning) and Kinsey Hansen (4th inning) also hit home runs as Gabbie Plain struggled against the Oklahoma lineup for the second consecutive day. Washington’s star pitcher was responsible for six of the nine Sooner runs and issued three walks in picking up just her fourth loss of the season (32-4).
The Norman Super Regional was billed as Oklahoma’s offense verses Washington’s pitching and defense but the Huskies proved to not be a match for the hitting, fielding, and pitching of the Sooners. Shannon Saile took to the circle for OU on Saturday and went the distance to keep her record perfect at 17-0. She became the second Sooner pitcher to pitch a complete game against Washington after freshman Nicole May did the same in Friday’s opener. Saile allowed one run and struck out five batters on the afternoon.
Oklahoma breezing by Gabbie Plain and Washington is just the next expectation exceeded for a team that is setting national and program records. OU wasn’t supposed to dominate the regional in the same fashion that they dominated the regular season because their strength of schedule was called into question. Yet the Sooners swept through the regional unscathed. Washington was ranked #6 in the last poll and Oklahoma wasn’t supposed to dominate the Super Regional in the same fashion they dominated the regular season. Yet the Sooners sent U-Dub packing after just two days. It’s time to put the strength of schedule argument to bed for this team and accept the fact that the Sooners are legitimately going to Oklahoma City as the best team in the country. Of course they won’t mind if teams keep sleeping on them though.
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