Battling back has kind of been Oklahoma’s thing at the Women’s College World Series. Dropping the opener against James Madison put them on the long road to the national semifinals, so when UCLA’s Rachel Garcia took Nicole May deep to right field in the top of the third inning there was zero panic from the Sooner dugout.
Giselle Juarez took over for May in the circle and completely shut the Bruins down for the remainder of the game and then Oklahoma’s offense got rolling in the bottom half of the third when the Sooners got two runs back to make it just a 3-2 deficit going into the fourth. OU scattered 10 runs across the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings to put UCLA on the brink of a run-rule.
The Sooners took the lead in the fourth by plating two runs, then pushed a single run across in the fifth before exploding for five runs in the sixth, just one run shy of what was needed to end the game early. Jayda Coleman (2-for-4), Kinzie Hansen (2-for-3) and Mackenzie Donihoo (2-for-4) all produced multiple hit performances in the game but it was Donihoo who stood out as the offensive MVP by taking UCLA pitchers deep twice to give her three home runs between the two games on the day.
Donihoo’s fist blast went deep to center field in the bottom of the fifth to extend Oklahoma’s lead to 5-3 over the Bruins. It was the fifth run scored by Oklahoma in the three at bats since falling behind 3-0 on Garcia’s dinger.
Donihoo’s second shot of the game, and third of the day, came in the sixth when the 5’5″ sophomore towered a 2-run homer to left field that also scored Grace Lyons and produced the final 10-3 score.
Freshman Nicole May started for Oklahoma in the circle and worked her way around two scoreless innings but the Bruins had her figured out in the third prompting Patty Gasso to make a pitching change after Garcia’s home run put UCLA up 3-0. Juarez took over and was just as dominant against the Bruins as she was against Georgia earlier in the day. Pitching the final five innings, Juarez picked up her 20th win on the season (2nd on the day) by striking out four batters and allowing no runs and just three hits.
The Sooners have earned the right to a rematch with James Madison and must beat the Dukes twice on Sunday in order to make it to the championship round. The first game is set for an Noon start time.
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