|W - Parker (35-3)||7.0||12||5||5||3||8|
|L - Betsa (28-4)||6.1||6||7||5||6||7|
|S - N/A||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|OU - Romero||3||2||2||1||1||1|
|MICH - Falk||3||1||3||3||0||1|
Oklahoma is one win away from reaching the WCWS Finals for the third time in program history ... OU is 19-14 all-time at the WCWS ... the Sooners are 8-13 all-time agianst Michigan, but 3-0 vs. the Wolverines at the WCWS ... the win was the 29th in a row, tying a school record set in 2005 ... Oklahoma's five stolen bases matched a season high and tied a WCWS record set by Tennessee in 2007 ... with three runs in the first inning, OU has now outscored teams 146-16 over the first two innings ... OU entered the WCWS with one win when out-hit by an opponent, but now the team has done it in each game of the WCWS ... Paige Parker threw a career-high 142 pitches and earned a win in her 25th straight appearance ... her 35 wins this year are tied for fifth most in OU history with Jill Most (1997) and Keilani Rickets (2013) ... Parker's 63 career wins tie Patti Graham (1981-84) for seventh most in program annals ... OU's 54 wins match the 2012 OU squad for seventh most in Big 12 history ... Oklahoma's 416 runs this year are tied with the 2011 Texas Tech squad for sixth most in Big 12 history ... the team's 77 stolen bases tie the 1992 and 1998 OU teams for seventh most in a season in program history
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – No. 3 Oklahoma (54-7) got off to a quick start but then had to hold off a late rally from No. 2 Michigan (52-6) en route to a 7-5 win in the winners’ bracket of the Women’s College World Series Saturday night.
With the victory, OU plays again Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2 against the winner of the Sunday afternoon’s elimination game between No. 10 LSU and No. 16 Georgia. Oklahoma is one win away from reaching the Championship Series for the third time in program history, while LSU or Georgia would need to win Sunday night to force a winner-take-all game Monday.
Saturday’s win atoned for a 16-9 loss to Michigan earlier in the season and marked the 29th consecutive win for Oklahoma. That ties a school record set in 2005 and is tied for the 19th longest in NCAA history. A win Sunday would make them the first team since Florida in 2008 to win at least 30 straight games.
The win didn’t come easy though as OU entered the bottom of the seventh leading 7-3, but Michigan was able to get the winning run on base before the final out.
Michigan’s Sierra Romero led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk. OU’s Paige Parker fought back with her seventh and eighth strikeouts of the game. Tera Blanco kept Michigan alive with a single before Aidan Falk made it 7-4 with a run-scoring single to right center. Lindsay Montemarano followed with an RBI single of her own, cutting the lead to 7-5.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Amanda Vargas was hit by a pitch to fill the bases. Now with the tying run on second and winning run on first, Parker faced No. 9 hitter Abby Ramirez. Parker fell behind 3-0, but fought back to force a full count. On the sixth pitch of the at-bat, Ramirez hit a chopper back to Parker, who fielded and threw to first to end the contest.
Parker is now 35-3 on the season and has a win in each of her last 25 appearances. She struck out eight and allowed five runs on 12 hits and three walks while throwing a career-high 142 pitches.
The game marked the second and possibly final matchup between the Romero sisters, Sydney representing OU and Sierra on Michigan.
Sydney was 2-3 with two runs scored and a home run, while Sierra was 1-3 with an RBI single, run scored and walk.
Oklahoma was aggressive from the start, scoring three runs within the game’s first five batters.
Senior Erin Miller was hit by the very first pitch of the game. Freshman Caleigh Clifton followed with a bloop single behind second base, and Miller took the extra base to reach third. Clifton stole her 13th base of the season to put two in scoring position, and it paid off as Friday night’s hero, freshman Shay Knighten, hit a chopper back up the middle to bring home two.
OU kept up the attack as Romero reached on a bunt single. Knighten moved up to second on the play and then took third on a wild pitch. With runners on the corners, Romero stole second base. The throw from Falk behind the plate was errant, allowing Knighten to come home to make it 3-0 in OU’s favor.
The lead grew to 4-0 for Oklahoma in the top of the third as Romero turned on an 0-1 pitch and crushed a solo home run halfway up the bleachers in left field. It was her ninth homer of the season and her third of the postseason.
Michigan cut into the OU lead with a three-run fourth inning.
Kelsey Susalla led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. After a strikeout, Falk pulled a two-run homer to right field for her seventh of the season, trimming Oklahoma’s lead to 4-2.
After a pop up, Vargas kept the inning going with a two-out double to left-center. Ramirez then walked, while Sierra Lawrence followed with a liner off Parker’s glove to fill the bases. Sierra Romero batted next and reached on an infield single, just beating out a throw from Sydney to make it 4-3. The damage was stopped there, though, as Parker hit the outside corner to strike out Kelly Christner and leave the bases full.
In a scene reminiscent of the third inning, a leadoff homer added a run for OU in the sixth. On the first pitch she saw, sophomore Nicole Pendley pulled a home run to the right field bleachers. It was her eighth of the season and third of the postseason.
Michigan looked like it might cut into the lead again in the bottom of the frame, but the Sooners’ defense came through. Ramirez singled to left field with one out. Lawrence followed with a fly ball to right field. Miller covered a large amount of territory to make a running catch before firing to Knighten at first base to double off Ramirez to end the inning.
The Sooners then added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh.
Clifton was hit by a pitch with one out. Knighten singled up the middle and Clifton advanced to third on a fielding error by Lawrence. Knighten followed with a steal of second and Sydney Romero was intentionally walked to fill the bases.
Freshman Fale Aviu got ahead 3-0 in the count before taking two strikes and fouling off another pitch. On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Aviu drew ball four to force in Clifton. A fielder’s choice resulted in an out at home plate, but senior Kady Self put OU ahead 7-3 when she beat out an infield single to bring home Knighten.