In a flurry of runs that was highlighted by two suicide squeezes, OU (56-8) led 7-0 after 1 and a half innings. Things seemed good, almost certain, for Patty Gasso’s squad to win their third national title.
Auburn (56-11) would make a historic 11-7 comeback capped off by Carosone’s walk off grandslam in the 8th. OU, who hadn’t trailed since Super Regional action, had their 31 game winning streak snapped firmly.
The Sooners didn’t have their ace in the circle. Paige Parker sat in the dugout for most of the night resting after pitching 5 days in a row. Instead it was Kelsey Stevens who had not pitched since May 14th against Oklahoma State.
After a three run home run Stevens was pulled in favor of freshman Jayden Chestnut. She was greeted by an Auburn RBI single to right that pulled Auburn to 7-5.
Chestnut would settle down, though Auburn would respond the next inning to tie it at 7. For a freshman on the big stage it boded well for the future of the young softball squad.
The fans were clamoring for Paige Parker who teased them by going out to the bullpen to warm up in the 5th though she never saw the field.
Shay Knighten, hero against Alabama, had a chance to get her third WCWS home run with two on. But it was just one of those night’s with Auburn’s momentum and Tiffany Howard robbed Knighten’s heroics at the wall.
Many are calling it a joke. Saying that Patty Gasso did a terrible job coaching. While the comeback was historic, the ESPN crew would even have you believe that the collapse assured Auburn the title.
There’s still Game 3 tonight.
Paige Parker will return to the circle where she held Auburn to just 2 runs in the first bout of the series. The lineup, solid from top to bottom, will face off against a team they’ve been able to be productive against.
There is something to say about the confidence of the Sooners and Tigers. Auburn certainly is riding high after doing what they did. This after making the semifinals in last year’s WCWS and now they’re one game away from the program’s first national title.
Oklahoma, though, has been here before. Not many on the squad have been, but Gasso has been apart of this song and dance plenty.
They say a series doesn’t start until the road team wins a game. While not Norman, Oklahoma City and ASA Hall of Fame Stadium are certainly as much home as Marita Hines Field.
So the nation’s leading offense and the nation’s leading defense will play for it all in one more game. No streaks to worry about extending, no records sought to be broken. Just one more game.