WCWS: Sooners Escape With Narrow Win Over Auburn to Take 1-0 Lead in Championship Series
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma softball team was able to hold off Auburn in the seventh inning on Monday night to secure a 3-2 win while taking a 1-0 series lead in the Women's College World Series National Championship.
The Sooners will look to claim their third national title on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the second game of the best-of-three series.
Oklahoma only lit up the scoreboard in one of the seven innings, but the brief scoring surge was all the Sooners needed on Monday night. Freshman Kelsey Arnold was walked to start the third and Erin Miller reached base immediately after on a successful bunt attempt. But despite having a runner on first and second with no outs, Oklahoma's chances of capitalizing looked slim after Caleigh Clifton followed with a strike out and Shay Knighten popped up for the second out.
But that was until freshman Sydney Romero showed up to the party.
Romero --who's been on fire throughout the World Series-- cranked a three-run shot over the left field wall that gave the Sooners an early 3-0 lead. It was Romero's fourth homer in the last six games and it gave Oklahoma a crucial cushion early on in this one.
Fortunately for Oklahoma, Romero's homer was just enough cushion to pick up the win, as Auburn mounted a furious comeback in the seventh inning.
Auburn's Jade Rhodes got the Tigers' bats going with a two-run homer to left-center field, and Auburn followed that up by getting runners to second and third base with only one out. Nerves were ecstatic amongst the fans inside ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, but the OU players on the field were cool, calm and collected.
With the game on the line, Knighten was able to use her body to knock a hot shot to first base, collect the ball, and rifle it home to catcher Lea Wodach, who was able to tag the Auburn baserunner at the plate and prevent the game-tying score. The Tigers' next batter popped up to Romero at third to end the game, as the Sooners escaped with a narrow victory.
Five different OU players recorded hits in the win, while OU pitcher Paige Parker limited the Tigers to only four hits in the game.