Oklahoma 3, Alabama 0 (F/8)
--- by Niesha Middlebrooks
After a weather suspension last night, Alabama and Oklahoma resumed play tonight, and what a game it was!
This was a 'pitchers duel' by any measure as Paige Parker ) and Alexis Osorio faced off and in a fight to the very end. Osorio couldn't quite hold on as the Sooners took the win with a three- run walk-off home run from freshman Shay Knighten that advanced her and the Sooners into the winner's bracket of the Women's College World Series.
Osorio kept it tight for for the Tide the whole way in an outing should not bring any shame down on her. She only allowed three hits, two coming from Knighten, a former travel ball teammate of hers. The sophomore struck out ten batters and while she issued five walks, her and her defense helped her out largely at times as she continued to be the dominant pitcher that Tide fans have grown accustomed to. Oklahoma's Paige Parker held her own as well, allowing four hits, striking out six and only walking one.
Both teams left runners in scoring positions three times. Oklahoma, being one of the top-ranked hitting teams, could not get a good tap with Osorio's infamous rise balls. In the bottom of the sixth, Sydney Romero came close to knocking the ball over the fence but Haylie McCleney showed us why she's a three-time All-American by robbing Romero with the glove, catching the ball over the fence.
In the bottom of the eighth, Osario may have gotten a little fatigued, having thrown over 120 pitches and the Sooners took full advantage. Kelsey Arnold was walked giving Oklahoma a leadoff baserunner. Then, Alabama committed an error on a throw by Peyton Gratham that looked to throw Arnold out at first, but didn't quite make it to where first baseman Leona Lafaele could catch it. Arnold used her speed to her advantage, and advanced to second. Osario then walked Caleigh Clifton to enter her faceoff with Knighten, the player who hit a walk off homer in the last meeting against Alabama on March 19. History repeated itself as Knighten igniteed the ball out of the park to give the Sooners the victory.
Alabama will have an uphill battle being in the loser's bracket, but if they play the way they played tonight, they could very well persevere.
Michigan 2, LSU 0
The LSU Tigers and Michigan Wolverines put both of their aces on the hill Friday night for what would turn out to be thrilling game in the Women's College World Series.
Instead of giving you a play by play of the numerous vicious outs both pitchers were able to garner in the first five innings of scoreless ball, here are the stats. Tigers pitcher Allie Walljasper pitched flawlessly for the first five innings giving up only three hits in the process. She also induced groundouts on nine of the twelve outs she made. In comparison, Wolverines pitcher Megan Betsa struck out five hitters while only giving up four hits in the first five innings. She induced seven groundouts to the batters she faced. Betsa pitched like her All-American credentials and Big Ten Player of the Year honors suggested she would.
All of the great pitching ended for LSU abruptly in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, Tera Blanco doubled to right field scoring Kelly Christner and Sierra Romero.
With the score 2-0 in favor of the Wolverines, LSU had one last chance at the top of the seventh inning and could not respond.
With the loss the LSU Tigers now play an elimination game tomorrow against Alabama.