OU Softball Claims Third National Title With 2-1 Win Over Auburn


Wednesday, June 8th 2016, 9:43 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


For the third time in the history of the program, the OU softball team is National Champions after taking down Auburn 2-1 in the decisive Game 3 of the WCWS Championship Series.

Head coach Patty Gasso and the Sooners were able to end the season on top by winning 32 of their final 33 games with a starting lineup which featured four freshmen, three sophomores and only two seniors.

After surrendering a seven-run lead in Game 2 of the series, some thought Oklahoma could be phased entering Game 3, but the Sooners were able to regroup nicely and come out on a mission.

OU’s first run of the game came on a bizarre sequence of events. With Caleigh Clifton on first base and only one out in the game, freshman Shay Knighten smacked a grounder to Auburn’s Emily Carosone at second base, but Carosone was unable to field the ball cleanly, which sent Clifton all the way to third base.

But that’s then things got weird.

Instead of throwing the ball back to the pitcher once it was clear both Clifton and Knighten were safely at third and first, Carosone appeared to fake a throw to first base, but the ball slipped out of her hand and slammed into the dirt, which gave Clifton enough time to scamper home for the first score of the game.

If the two errors on one play wasn’t bad enough for Auburn, the Sooners were able to add another score in the opening frame when Fale Aviu hustled out an infield single that scored Knighten from third base.

Not only was the OU offense doing special things, but pitcher Paige Parker also had a stellar performance. After Coach Gasso opted to rest Parker in Game 2 of the series, the sophomore totaled five strikeouts while showing her dominance on the biggest possible stage.

With OU holding a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, Auburn was able to load the bases with no outs in the inning. Parker appeared to be in trouble, but clearly that wasn’t the case at all. She responded by striking out Carosone, and then forcing Carlee Wallace into hitting a ground ball to short stop that Kelsey Arnold was able to turn into a 6-4-3 double-play to end the inning and get out of the jam.

Parker’s only mistake came in the fourth inning when Auburn slugger Jade Rhodes was able to get ahold of one and crank it over the left field wall for the only Auburn run of the game.

Aviu finished with two hits for the Sooners, while Clifton, Kady Self and Lea Wodach also tallied hits for Oklahoma.

After surrendering a seven-run lead in Game 2 of the series, some thought Oklahoma could be phased entering Game 3, but the Sooners were able to regroup nicely and come out on a mission.

OU’s first run of the game came on a bizarre sequence of events. With Caleigh Clifton on first base and only one out in the game, freshman Shay Knighten smacked a grounder to Auburn’s Emily Carosone at second base, but Carosone was unable to field the ball cleanly, which sent Clifton all the way to third base.

But that’s then things got weird.

Instead of throwing the ball back to the pitcher once it was clear both Clifton and Knighten were safely at third and first, Carosone appeared to fake a throw to first base, but the ball slipped out of her hand and slammed into the dirt, which gave Clifton enough time to scamper home for the first score of the game.

Welp...that didn't go as planned. @OU_Softball up 2-0 in the 2nd inning. Tune to ESPN for more action. #WCWS pic.twitter.com/yQQ2kUDzio

— ESPNU (@ESPNU) June 8, 2016

Whoops. #Sooners #WCWS https://t.co/JVWYhoPgzQ

— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) June 8, 2016

If the two errors on one play wasn’t bad enough for Auburn, the Sooners were able to add another score in the opening frame when Fale Aviu hustled out an infield single that scored Knighten from third base.

Not only was the OU offense doing special things, but pitcher Paige Parker also had a stellar performance. After Coach Gasso opted to rest Parker in Game 2 of the series, the sophomore totaled five strikeouts while showing her dominance on the biggest possible stage.

With OU holding a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, Auburn was able to load the bases with no outs in the inning. Parker appeared to be in trouble, but clearly that wasn’t the case at all. She responded by striking out Carosone, and then forcing Carlee Wallace into hitting a ground ball to short stop that Kelsey Arnold was able to turn into a 6-4-3 double-play to end the inning and get out of the jam.

Brilliant move by Patty Gasso to rest Parker in G2. Tremendous pitching & defense by young natty champs w OU_Softball.@News9 #Sooners #OU

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) June 9, 2016

Parker’s only mistake came in the fourth inning when Auburn slugger Jade Rhodes was able to get ahold of one and crank it over the left field wall for the only Auburn run of the game.

The final out. @OU_Softball wins the 2016 NCAA championship. pic.twitter.com/XFZhiSyCYC

— Brad Galbreath (@bradgalbreath) June 9, 2016

Aviu finished with two hits for the Sooners, while Clifton, Kady Self and Lea Wodach also tallied hits for Oklahoma.

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For the third time in the history of the program, the OU softball team is National Champions after taking down Auburn 2-1 in the decisive Game 3 of the WCWS Championship Series. 

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