It wasn't the Cotton Bowl and there weren't 96,000 screaming fans in the stands, but the Red River Rivalry, Women's College World Series edition had many of the same qualities, complete with wild, game-changing plays.
For Sooner fans, the end result was similar to the past two years on the gridiron, as No. 1 seed Oklahoma overcame an early two-run deficit to run-rule the Texas Longhorns in five innings, 10-2.
With the win, the Sooners advanced to the WCWS semifinals and now sit just one win away from advancing to the championship series. Oklahoma will take on the winner of Washington and either Arizona State or Michigan Sunday night at 8:30 p.m.
Just like Oklahoma's game on Thursday night, the third inning proved to be the pivotal inning, as Texas threw the first punch, scoring two runs with the bases loaded. The first came on a single from Brejae Washington after OU intentionally walked Taylor Hoagland to load the bases. After a force out at home, Keilani Ricketts walked Kim Bruins to score Hoagland from third.
In the bottom of the frame, the Sooners threw a counterpunch that was much stronger than the initial punch the Longhorns threw.
With runners on first and second, Ricketts doubled down the line to score Georgia Casey from second. After a walk to Brittany Williams to load the bases, Texas star pitcher Blaire Luna was lifted for Bruins.
It was a surprising move from UT coach Connie Clark since Luna came into the WCWS as the nation's leader in hits and strikeouts per seven innings. But Luna was ineffective against the Sooners, walking five batters and giving up three hits in two complete innings. Luna also pitched to four batters in the third, but didn't record an out.
The problem was an inability to find the strike zone, as Luna threw 57 total pitches, but only 25 for strikes.
Bruins came on in relief and quickly got two outs. The Longhorns were a single strike from getting out of the jam relatively unscathed, but Callie Parsons drove the payoff pitch into center to score two runs. The trailing runner was Williams who took an aggressive angle on her slide home, causing Texas catcher Mandy Ogle to drop the throw from center.
With two runners on, Brianna Turang dropped a bunt in front of Bruins who threw wildly to first. Right fielder Gabby Smith was unable to corral the ball, allowing it to roll all the way to the wall. Turang—who also played soccer at OU—motored around the bases and scored before the ball even made it back to the infield.
Turang's four-base error put the Sooners up 6-2 and completely reversed any momentum the Longhorns had built up in the top of the frame.
The run support was more than enough for Ricketts, who wasn't dominant against the Longhorns, but was plenty effective, giving up three hits and walking four while striking out just two batters. Texas put a lot of balls in play, but the OU defense was up to the challenge, not committing an error for the game after a somewhat shaky performance on Thursday night.
By the time the Sooners came to bat in the bottom of the fourth, there was little doubt how things would end up, but the Sooners made sure to erase any doubt, putting up three more runs on a couple of singles and a sacrifice fly.
Lauren Chamberlain led off the bottom of the fifth with a fly ball to right field that was horribly misplayed by Smith, allowing Chamberlain to end up with a triple. It was the first hit in four games against Texas for Chamberlain. Casey singled in the next at bat to send Chamberlain home and give OU the win.