In Game 1 of the WCWS Finals, it was Oklahoma who jumped out front with a 5-0 victory over the Florida State Seminoles on Wednesday night.
With the victory, Oklahoma takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series and is just one win away from taking home a third straight national championship.
Meanwhile, Florida State will try and turn the tide on Thursday to get the series back even and force a Game 3 on Friday.
Here are three thoughts on the game and what it means going forward.
Another Questionable Pitching Decision Against Oklahoma
Is Patty Gasso a Jedi Master, or is she just in everyone’s head at this point? Nothing else really makes sense, as we’ve now seen a second-straight coach leave their ace on the bench against the Sooners.
Over the weekend, we saw Tennessee opt to leave Ashley Rogers out of the game, and Oklahoma responded by run-ruling the Lady Vols, 9-0. So, Lonni Alameda surely wouldn’t make the same mistake, right? Nope. The Seminoles left first-team All-American pitcher Kathryn Sandercock on the bench, and it cost them Game 1 in a big way.
It’s quite peculiar that this continues to be a trend, but there’s got to be an explanation, right? In softball, it’s not uncommon for a pitcher to start two games in a weekend series, so I really don’t understand why you would take your best arm out of the game in the series opener. Either way, we will assuredly see Sandercock on Thursday, but it’ll be with the Noles playing from behind.
A Big Fourth Inning Catapults Sooners Ahead
Through three innings, we had a 0-0 ball game and it looked as if we might be headed for another pitchers’ duel, which Oklahoma has found itself in a couple of over the last week or so.
However, the Sooners’ bats broke things open in a big way in the fourth inning. After Haley Lee reached base after a HBP, Kinzie Hansen hit a double to bring in pinch hitter Jordy Bahl to make it 1-0, Sooners.
Then, Alyssa Brito singled to right field to bring in Hansen, followed by a single from Alynah Torres, which allowed Brito to score after a throwing error.
It may not have been the long ball tonight, but Oklahoma’s offense was plenty potent enough to create the distance needed to win. With a 3-0 lead in the fourth, and Jordy Bahl dominating in the circle, the three runs proved to be more than enough.
Jordy Bahl Dominates Again
Oklahoma’s offense gets all the headlines, but the pitching staff has been the backbone of Oklahoma’s 52-game winning streak. Furthermore, Jordy Bahl has been a major part of that success, especially down the stretch of the postseason.
Coming into the championship series, Bahl had collected 36 strikeouts in 28.0 IP, with just one earned run on 20 hits in that stretch.
On Wednesday, she continued to dominate with a complete game shutout of the Seminoles, going 7.0 innings with just two hits and 10 Ks and just one walk on the night.
In the WCWS alone, Bahl now has 30 Ks in 21.2 IP with 3 BB, 12 hits allowed and 0 earned runs. That’s right, Jordy Bahl has scored more runs as a pinch runner than she’s given up at the Women’s College World Series.