While the OU’s offense struggled mightily to get going in Friday night’s extra inning win over Alabama, it took Oklahoma no time to get rolling against Michigan on Saturday as the Sooners took down the Wolverines 7-5 to advance to the Women’s College World Series semifinals.
Just over 24 hours after leading the Sooners to a victory with a walk-off home run, Shay Knighten’s bat apparently hadn’t cooled off just yet. With Erin Miller and Caleigh Clifton on third and second base, Knighten smacked a single up the middle that scored both runners to give Oklahoma an early 2-0 lead. But that wasn’t enough for Knighten, as the freshman went on to steal third base, before scoring on a throwing error shortly after to put the Sooners up 3-0 in the first inning.
While the scoring spree to open the game gave the OU fans in the crowd something to cheer for, the rowdy Sooner faithful in attendance roared even louder when freshman phenom Sydney Romero launched a dinger over the left field wall that put Oklahoma up 4-0 in the third frame.
Oklahoma was sitting pretty, but the Wolverines were locked and loaded with a response.
Michigan’s Aidan Falk drilled a two-run shot over the right field wall that just stayed fair to cut OU’s lead to 4-2, then National Player of the Year Sierra Romero got in on the action with the bases loaded. Michigan’s senior leader hit a lazy grounder to third base, where her younger sister Sydney Romero charged the ball but was just a hair late on the throw to first as another Wolverine’s runner crossed home to make the score 4-3.
But Oklahoma was able to add one more in the sixth on a solo home run from sophomore Nicole Pendley, then another in the seventh when freshman Fale Aviu was walked with the bases loaded. OU put the icing on the cake when senior Kady Self reached base on an infield single with two outs to score its seventh and final run of the game.
Michigan made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh by tacking on two more runs before loading the bases, but ultimately didn’t have enough left in the tank for a comeback.
Knighten led the way with two RBI’s while five other Sooners knocked in runs. OU pitcher Paige Parker had a solid performance with eight strikeouts while working her way out of a few jams.
OU will be back in action on Sunday night at 8:30 in the semifinals.