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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

Renfroe Shuts Out Sooners To Force Game Three

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

One night after Oklahoma's Kelsey Stevens baffled Tennessee batters, it was Tennessee ace Ellen Renfroe's turn to return the favor.

Renfroe limited the Sooners to just five hits Saturday night and—most importantly—zero runs as the Volunteers forced a deciding Game 3 with a 4-0 win.

Rain and lightning once again delayed the game after wrecking havoc on Friday night's game. This time, it was a nearly four-hour delay that caused Game 3 to be pushed to Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. instead of right after Game 2 as it was originally scheduled.

With the Super Regional tied at a game apiece, Sunday's game will decide which team returns to the Women's College World Series.

The Sooners had plenty of opportunities in the opening three frames, putting a runners in scoring position each inning, but Renfroe battled back to shut the Sooners' offense out, ending each of the first three innings with a strikeout to end the threat.

Play was halted in the top of the second inning as lightning rolled into the area. Around the time the lightning delays were about to expire, rain poured down on Marita Hynes Field, delaying the game further. Altogether, it was three hours and 54 minutes before the teams returned to action.

Tennessee broke through first once play resumed, as Megan Geer sent a laser over the left field fence for a home run that gave the Volunteers a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.

That proved to be enough for Renfroe, who gave up singles to Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley to begin the third inning, but rallied to retire the next 11 batters she faced, before issuing a walk to Whitney Ellis in the top of the seventh to end the streak.

Stevens recovered nicely after the home run, recording six of the next nine outs via strikeout and not allowing another hit until the bottom of the fifth.

In that frame, things fell apart for Stevens and the Sooners. After a strikeout, Stevens hit Taylor Koenig with a pitch and then Rainey Gaffin doubled to put runners on second and third with one out. Stevens intentionally walked SEC Player of the Year Madison Shipman to load the bases and set up a potential double play. Instead, Stevens walked in two runs by walking the next two batters before an error on Georgia Casey allowed a third run to score.

The Sooners tried to rally in the top of the seventh inning, putting two runners on with two outs for the top of the lineup, but Destinee Martinez grounded out to Shipman on a close play, leaving Chamberlain as the tying run in the on-deck circle.

Oklahoma struck first on Friday night and Tennessee responded. Now, whoever can have the final say on Sunday is going back to Oklahoma City.

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