Three Thoughts on OU’s 6-5 Walkoff Win Over Florida in the WCWS Semifinals

In what may have been the best game that we’ve seen all week, the Oklahoma Sooners simply refused to let their season die in Tuesday’s elimination game against Florida.

OU never led in the contest until it mattered most, as a fly ball off the bat of Jayda Coleman gave the Sooners the run they needed to come out on top, 6-5.

With the win, Oklahoma (57-7) is now set to face No. 1 Texas in the WCWS Championship Series, while Florida (54-15) sees its season come to a close with the disappointing loss.

Here are three thoughts on an unforgettable win for the Sooners and what it means going forward.


Jayda Coleman’s Solo Shot Lifts Struggling Seniors

When Oklahoma failed to get anything on the board in the fifth inning, it felt like the storybook for the Sooners four-peat might coming to a close. Ella Parker advanced to second after a wild collision with Skylar Wallace, and pinch runner Maya Bland then advanced to third base on a sac fly from Kinzie Hansen. After Kasidi Pickering walked, it was Rylie Boone’s chance to give OU the tie or even the lead. But she hit a flyout as well, allowing Florida to hold onto the lead for another frame.

Oklahoma’s seniors are undoubtedly the reason why this team is in OKC, but in facing their seasons—and careers—possibly coming to a close, they seemed to struggle under the pressure. Before the final at-bat of the game, the core of seniors consisting of Jayda Coleman (1-for-3), Tiare Jennings (1-for-3), Alyssa Brito (1-for-4), Kinzie Hansen (0-for-3), and Rylie Boone (0-for-3) were a combined 3-for-16 (.188) at the plate with just one run scored amongst them.

With Florida’s Keagan Rothrock dominating to that point, despite throwing for her fourth day in a row, it felt like it would have to be one of the younger stars on the team might have to keep the Sooners’ season alive.


However, after praying with teammate Alyssa Brito just before stepping into the batter’s box, Jayda Coleman changed the entire narrative with one swing. It was an amazing moment for a team that has found a way to win time and time again, and for a special group of seniors, it guarantees them at least two more games together.

Kelly Maxwell Turns in a Gem After Tough Start

Kelly Maxwell drew the start on Tuesday after Patty Gasso and the Sooners made the controversial decision to sit her on Monday. Three innings into the game, Sooner fans were starting to change their tune about the ace being in the circle. Although she’d allowed just three hits to that point in the game, all three of them left the field of play and resulted in runs for Florida. A two-run shot from Jocelyn Erickson in the first, a two-run shot from A. Kowalewski in the second, and a solo homer from Reagan Walsh in the third gave Florida five runs in three frames.

But things changed in a major way from that point on. Despite giving up 3 H, 5 ER, and 2 BB in the first three, Gasso decided to let the senior remain in the game and work things out. Well, that decision is one of the biggest reasons why OU is still alive. In the last 5.0 IP, Maxwell allowed 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, and 3 K while turning in 1-2-3 innings in the fourth, seventh, and eighth. She ended the day with 8 Ks and held Florida batters to just .143 (4-28) on the day.

After the Gators found a way to score all nine runs in their 9-3 win over Oklahoma on Monday, Maxwell limited UF to 2-of-11 (.182) with two outs and stranded five Florida base runners in the process. While it might not be the same level of statistical performance that we saw from 28 against UCLA on Saturday, there’s no doubt that Maxwell played a major role in OU surviving the day. After all, how many times do you see a pitcher give up five runs on three hits and find a way to hang zeros for the rest of the game?


Can the “Underdog” Sooners Pull Off the Four-Peat?

After going 3-0 through bracket play of the WCWS, the top-seeded Texas Longhorns are the favorites to win the 2024 National Championship. Texas has allowed just three hits since arriving in Oklahoma City and has yet to allow a single run to be scored against them, outscoring opponents 15-0 thus far.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma was taken to the brink by Florida, a team that Texas beat 10-0 on Saturday, and comes into the Championship series without the same day of rest that Texas was afforded by winning on Monday. So, while it might sound crazy to most, OU is not the favorite in the public eye when it comes to taking home a title–it’s Texas.

This Oklahoma team did seem to exorcise some demons in the second half of their game against the Gators, and they’ve got a roster that can stand toe-to-toe with Texas. But the narrative will not be in their favor. Still, OU can become the first team ever to win four consecutive national champions if they can find a way to take down Texas, and the Longhorns can make some history of their own with a win—which would be their first in school history.

It’s going to be a weird dynamic with Oklahoma being seen as the “underdog” in the Champ Series, but it gives us yet another reason to stay glued to the television.

The Longhorns and Sooners have split four meeting this season, with Texas beating the Sooners in two of three games in Austin, each by a score of 2-1. Meanwhile, Oklahoma beat Texas 5-2 in Game 1 of that series and then 5-1 most recently in the Big 12 Championship.

Game 1 of the Championship Series is set for Wednesday, June 4, at 7:00 p.m. CT on ESPN.

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