Oklahoma Opens Up WCWS With 9-1 Run-Rule Win Over Duke

Oklahoma's Alyssa Brito (33), Tiare Jennings (23) and Jayda Coleman (24) celebrate as Duke's Ana Gold (4) and Dani Drogemuller (16) walk of the field following the Women's College World Series game between Alabama and UCLA at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May, 30, 2024.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Ok.—When Duke’s Francesca Frelick lifted a solo home run just inside the foul pole in left field to take a 1-0 lead over Oklahoma in the second inning of Game 2 of the Women’s College World Series, it felt like we might be in for one of those games.

We’ve seen Oklahoma’s offense disappear from time to time this season, and when the Sooners were unable to match Duke’s run in their half of the second, things started to feel a little tense. Duke carried the nation’s third-best ERA (1.55) into the WCWS and when they’ve found run support in 2024, they’ve been nearly impossible to beat.

In fact, a 3-0 loss to OU in their first game of the season was the worst loss Duke had suffered to this point. That all changed on Thursday afternoon, though, as the Blue Devils were welcomed to their first-ever trip to Oklahoma City with a 9-1 (6 inn.) loss at the hands of the three-time defending champions.


The Sooners showed a glimpse of the same level of dominance that we’ve seen over the past three seasons and—after handing a 52-win Duke team their first run-rule loss of the year—might’ve announced their return to the softball world as the proverbial team to beat this week.

The 1-0 deficit seemed to serve as the wakeup call for Oklahoma’s offense, as they scored multiple runs in all but one inning the rest of the way.

It all started in the bottom of the third inning when senior catcher Kinzie Hansen—who poetically ended up at the plate with two outs—squared up the first pitch that she saw from Jada Wright and lifted it over the left-field wall to give Oklahoma its first lead of the game, 2-1.

The very next batter, Alyssa Brito, was walked after working into a full count, bringing Alynah Torres into the batter’s box. The walk would prove costly for Wright, as Torres replicated Hansen’s long ball to make it 4-1, Sooners.


Cydney Sanders, who’s been in quite a batting slump, was the next OU batter to get on the scoreboard with yet another two-run shot over, you guessed it, the left-field wall to tack on another pair of insurance runs to make it 6-1 in the fourth. From there, Tiare Jennings reach on a HBP, and Ella Parker advanced her to second after working into a walk on a full count.

That brought Kinzie Hansen back to the plate, and she cashed in again with an RBI single to make it 7-1, Oklahoma.

The Sooners finished off the day in the sixth inning as the bats continued to stay hot. Jayda Coleman doubled into right field to lead off the inning, and Jennings followed that up with a single to right field and, two batters later, Alyssa Brito brought both of them home on single to left field to end the game.

Kelly Maxwell drew the start for Oklahoma and went 3.2 innings, allowing just one hit. She was pulled after walking three straight batters in the third, though, giving way to Keirston Deal, who finished out the day. In 2.1 IP, Deal allowed just two hits with no runs, no walks, and no strikeouts.


Meanwhile, Duke elected to start Cassidy Curd, who was actually very effective against the Sooners’ attack, allowing three hits with one earned run and one walk. She was pulled after 2.0 innings and Jada Wright entered the game and struggled.

In just 1.0 IP, Wright allowed four hits and five earned runs with one walk and two strikeouts. Lillie Walker (2.0 IP) and Dani Drogemuller (0.2 IP) finished out the game and gave up another three runs in the process.

The win advances Oklahoma (55-6) to the winner’s bracket on Saturday, where they’ll face No. 6 UCLA at 2:00 p.m. CT on ABC. Meanwhile, Duke (52-8) will be back in action tomorrow against Alabama in an elimination game at 6:00 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

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