If you like softball then you’re in luck because Oklahoma potentially has a lot of playing in front of them this weekend. The loss to James Madison didn’t end OU’s season, it provided the opportunity to extend it. The Sooners must now run the gauntlet of winning twice on Saturday and then sweeping two games from whoever advances from the winner’s bracket on Sunday. Impossible? No. Extremely difficult? Yes! However, if there’s a team built for this type of run it’s the Sooners.
Up first for the Sooners are the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday morning. Then it would be UCLA waiting for a nightcap. Should the Sooners survive until Sunday they would have to beat James Madison twice.
How To Watch
Oklahoma and Georgia will be televised on ESPN at 11:00 am (CT).
Down But Not Out
Three times in the history of the Women’s College World Series the national champion has lost its opening game: 2018 Florida State, 2003 UCLA and 1983 Texas A&M.
OU has lost its opener at the World Series just six times in its 14 appearances, most recently in 2018. The 2018 team battled back to Sunday, winning two games before ultimately falling to Washington.
As a team, OU has not been struck out double-digit times in 2021. OU struck out nine times to JMU’s Odicci Alexander Thursday, tying its season high for strikeouts in a game (they also struck out nine times at Arizona State, 2/26).
National Freshman of the Year Tiare Jennings hit her 26th home run of the season on Thursday. She is within four homers of the NCAA Division I freshman home run record (30) set by three players, most recently Jocelyn Alo in 2018. Lauren Chamberlain hit 30 her first season in 2012 and Hawaii’s Kelly Majam did it as a freshman in 2010.
With three RBIs on Thursday, Jennings has a nation-best 87 on the year and is within three of tying the NCAA DI freshman RBI record 90 set in 2000 by Jenny Topping of Washington.
Jocelyn Alo remains tied for the program record for single-season home runs with 30. With one more she will move into sole possession of the program crown, moving past the 30 she also hit in 2018 and 2015 graduate Lauren Chamberlain hit in 2012 and ’13. She’s seven shy of the NCAA single-season record 37 Laura Espinoza hit in 1995 for Arizona.
Alo is currently tied for seventh in NCAA history with 84 career home runs. She’s 11 shy of the NCAA record 95 OU alum Chamberlain (2012-15) hit in her career.
A Look At Georgia
The Sooners and Bulldogs meet for the third time of the season, with Saturday’s game being the rubber match of the year after each team took a game in the regular season matchups. Georgia handed OU its ﬁrst loss of the season back on April 20, a 7-6 decision in nine innings. The loss ended OU’s 40-game win streak. The Sooners turned around in the second game of the doubleheader to beat the Bulldogs 12-3 in run-rule fashion in ﬁve innings.
UGA pitcher Mary Wilson Avant has been the ace in the circle for the Bulldogs, striking out 199 on the year to 76 walks in 203.2 inning pitched. She holds a 2.72 ERA entering Saturday.
At the plate, UGA is batting .265 as a team, led by Lacey Finisher’s .338 BA and 15 HR. Sydney Kuma leads the Dawgs with 39 RBIs on the year.
This will be the first time the Sooners and Bulldogs will meet at the World Series.
A Look At The Field
Alabama: The Crimson Tide defeated Arizona, 5-1, on Thursday’s opening day of the World Series. Bama then turned around and beat UCLA, 6-0, on Friday to advance to Sunday’s semifinal round.
Arizona: The Wildcats lost to Alabama on Thursday and will play Florida State on Saturday in an elimination game.
Florida State: The Seminoles lost to UCLA, 4-0, on Thursday and will play Arizona on Saturday in an elimination game.
Georgia: The Bulldogs lost to Oklahoma State, 3-2, on Thursday and will play Oklahoma on Saturday in an elimination game.
James Madison: The Dukes defeated Oklahoma, 4-3, on Thursday and then Oklahoma State, 2-1, on Friday to advance to Sunday’s semifinal round.
Oklahoma State: The Cowgirls beat Georgia, 3-2, on Thursday and then lost to James Madison, 2-1, on Friday. They will play the winner of Arizona and Florida State on Saturday evening.
UCLA: The Bruins shutout Florida State, 4-0, on Thursday and then lost to Alabama, 6-0, on Friday. They will play the winner of Oklahoma and Georgia on Saturday evening.
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