OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma and Oklahoma State fans are in for a treat as the Sooners and the Cowgirls advanced to the winners bracket on Thursday night and will face off in the first ever Bedlam matchup in Women’s College World Series history on Friday night at 8:30 p.m.
The Cowgirls laid the foundation with a thrilling 2-1 win over No. 5 Florida Gators led by senior Samantha Show who hit two home runs to gain the team’s only two runs and pitched a full game allowing the Gators six hits but only one run.
This was Show’s 25th time in her 31 starts this season she has pitched at least five innings, and this was her 20th complete game this season.
Show also became only the second pitcher in WCWS history to hit two home runs in the same game. UCLA’s Megan Langenfeld first accomplished this in 2010.
“Never in my mind did I think we were out of it,” Show said postgame. “They had runners in scoring position, but I knew even if they did score, it wouldn’t be over. We would go back, have good at-bats, score again, but there was no doubt in my mind.”
With this win over the Florida, OSU got cozy in the winners bracket awaiting the outcome of OU’s matchup with Alabama to learn their opponent for the following day.
Undefeated as a Sooner, Giselle “G” Juarez took the mound the start things off for OU picking up two of here nine strikeouts in the first inning and keeping the Tide off the scoreboard for two innings.
Sydney Romero put the Sooners on the board first in the bottom of the first as Falepolima Aviu sent Romero to 3rd base with a 1B and Caleigh Clifton sent a sac fly to center field allowing the Sooners to cross home plate early.
OU leads 1-0
Bama’s Claire Jenkins forced trouble for the Sooners as she stood in scoring position on 3rd with Bailey Hemphill up to bat and two Bama outs. Hemphill knocked a high pop to right field that fell allowing Jenkins to put the Crimson Tide on the board in T3 for the first time.
Game tied 1-1
Romero struck again with a nice 3B in B3 putting herself in the perfect position to pick up OU’s second run following Jocelyn Alo’s hard drive to center field.
OU leads 2-1
Bama’s Jenkins made the Sooners sweat again as she knocked a solo home run to center field with zero outs to tie the game up once again in the top of the fifth. This wouldn’t last too long as Nicole Mendes served as the game hero sending a strong pop that had all the potential of being a home run. The ball hit the wall keeping it in play, but this allowed Alo’s pinch runner, Raegan Rogers, to find home extending the Sooners to a 3-2 lead in B6.
OU leads 3-2
With one more chance for the Tide to regain the lead, Juarez finished another strong game retiring the Tide in order and sealing the win for the Sooners.
“I felt calm, and I knew my team had my back,” Juarez said postgame. “But what kept me calm is when I came back from the 6th [inning], and Nicole [Mendes] saw me, and we prayed together. I think that was really amazing because it was something that spoke to me, and it was really cool we could implement that in our game.”
The Sooners, with plenty of support in the stands, celebrate this win by preparing to take on in-state rivals; the Oklahoma State Cowgirls, who won their first WCWS game since 1998.
“OSU is a great team,” Sydney Romero said postgame. “I think the cool part about this is that you have to Oklahoma teams playing at the World Series. We know it’s going to be a good game. OSU is a good team, and we’re excited.”
Bedlam softball, for the first time ever at the WCWS, will take place Friday night at 8:30 p.m. at the USA Hall of Fame Stadium.