The Oklahoma Sooners took down the Clemson Tigers on Saturday afternoon in the Norman Super Regional with an 8-7 win in nine innings to clinch a spot in the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso celebrated her birthday by clinching a spot in the WCWS and leading OU to a record-breaking 48-straight wins, setting a Division 1 Softball record.
In this game, Gasso gave the nod to junior pitcher Nicole May to take on the Tigers, as both Jordy Bahl and Alex Storako saw action in Game One. May had a rough day in the circle going 4.1 IP with five hits allowed, four runs earned, and four strikeouts on the day. After having some trouble in the fourth and fifth innings, May sat down and Gasso turned to Alex Storako, Kierston Deal, and Jordy Bahl to finish off Game Two.
Oklahoma started the scoring off with back-to-back solo home runs in the first inning with Jayda Coleman smacking one over the centerfield fence, and Tiare Jennings going opposite field to put the Sooners up 2-0 in the first. Brooke McCubbin got the start for the Tigers in Game Two and went 3.1 IP before being pulled for Millie Thompson.
Both Clemson and Oklahoma went scoreless for the next two innings thanks to some tough defense from both squads, but the Sooners bounced back in the fourth inning, adding two more runs to the scoreboard with a solo shot from Alyssa Brito and a single from Sophia Nugent. The Clemson Tigers responded in the fourth inning clawing back into the game with a three-run bomb from Maddie Moore to make the game a one-run difference, 4-3.
Oklahoma’s Nicole May found herself in a pinch in the fifth inning and with Alex Storako headed to the circle for the Sooners, the Tigers stayed in attack mode. Junior outfielder Mackenzie Clark took a rise ball from Alex Storako over the centerfield wall in the bottom of the fifth to give the Tigers a 5-4 lead.
The Sooners pitchers continued to struggle in the fifth inning prompting Patty Gasso to bring in freshman Kierston Deal, who then gave up two additional runs after walking a batter across the plate and giving up an RBI single to Maddie Moore, putting the Tigers on top 7-4.
The late-game heroics continued for the Sooners as they entered the final inning down by three runs. With two runners on base and two outs down, catcher Kinsey Hansen stepped up to the plate and delivered a three-run home run to tie the game up in the 7th inning at seven a piece and extend the game.
After two additional innings, the score remained tied until the first pitch of the ninth when junior infielder Tiare Jennings sent her second home run of the day into the fan zone giving the Sooners an 8-7 lead, three outs away from clinching a spot in the WCWS. Sophomore pitcher Jordy Bahl retired the final three batters for the Tigers giving the Sooners their seventh consecutive trip to the Women’s College World Series.