OKLAHOMA CITY — In the first ever Bedlam matchup in the Women’s College World Series, the Oklahoma Sooners defeated the Oklahoma State Cowgirls 6-1 to advance to the WCWS semifinals. This was Oklahoma’s 24th straight Bedlam win.
In the battle of transfer pitchers, Oklahoma’s Giselle ‘G’ Juarez got the win over Oklahoma State’s Samantha Show, throwing 6 innings and allowing just 4 hits. The Arizona-State transfer recorded 11 strikeouts in the contest. Show, a Texas A&M transfer, allowed 6 hits while recording 2 strikeouts in 4 innings of work.
Although they had never met in the WCWS, both teams knew how big the game was going to be for the state.
“We knew it was gonna be a crazy atmosphere, crazy fans, both sides going at each other.” Oklahoma’s Caleigh Clifton said. “It was just fun. It was a fun environment.”
At the plate, the Sooners got to work early, scoring three of their runs in the first inning. Falepolima Aviu doubled to right to get OU started, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Clifton walked, and stole to second just before Jocelyn Alo singled to score the pair. Alo then advanced around, and scored as Shay Knighten clapped her way to first following a single to center.
Oklahoma State’s lone run came in the bottom of the first, when Rylee Bayless drew a leadoff walk, and was eventually hit in by Michaela Richbourg.
Oklahoma finished with 8 hits in the game, all of them coming from different players. OSU finished with 4 hits in the contest.
The Sooners extended their lead in the sixth, when Grace Lyons started a two-out rally by singling to right field. With two runners on, Oklahoma State’s Logan Simunek hit Sydney Romero with a pitch, and walked Aviu to score Nicole Mendes. She then hit Clifton with a pitch to score Lyons, and walked Jocelyn Alo to score Romero to make the lead to 6-1.
The Sooners have now outscored OSU 22-3 in the Bedlam series this year.
After a self-proclaimed shaky Thursday night by Juarez, she brought her A-game on Friday, squashing the cowgirl comeback by striking out six straight through the fifth and sixth innings.
Shannon Saile entered in the 7th inning, and struck out 2 of her 3 batters to cap off the Sooner victory.
Following the 6-1 win, Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso believed the Bedlam showdown strengthened the Sooners for the games to come.
“We make each other better” she said. “When we play them you always feel this pressure from them, and either we’re gonna break or we’re gonna step up.”
Oklahoma now joins UCLA in the WCWS semifinals, where the Sooners will play the winner of Florida, Alabama, or Arizona to punch their ticket to the National Championship series. The semifinals were as far as last years Sooner squad would make it, as they were beat out by Washington.
Oklahoma State will now have to make a run through the losers bracket to keep their title hopes alive.
“I think we’ll go into fight-mode good” said Oklahoma State head coach Kenny Gajewski. “Win or lose we’ll play well, we’ll play our best and that’s the bottom line.”
Oklahoma State will play an elimination game against the winner of Washington and Minnesota at 6 p.m. on Saturday.