Oklahoma defends softball title with 5-4 win over Florida

Oklahoma celebration

Shay Knighten didn't let Oklahoma waste any more opportunities.

Drained from an exhausting, epic Game 1 victory, it was pure guts from the Sooners in a 5-4 victory against top-seeded Florida on Tuesday evening to win the Women's College World Series for the second year in a row in Oklahoma City. And it was Knighten who erased Florida's lead and its momentum in the second inning of Game 2 with a bases-clearing, two-out double off Delanie Gourley, an All-American in her third World Series.

Mendes gave way to Paige Lowary after a leadoff single in the sixth, and Lowary promptly induced a grounder, lineout and strikeout to move Oklahoma just three outs away. "I wasn't looking for really a particular pitch".

Barnhill threw several pitches 66 miles per hour and Lowary pitched in the mid-70s.

"I still can not believe that this happened, with where we started and where we finished", Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said. "I don't know what else - that was it".

"It was an emotional, emotional rollercoaster of a game and one that I will never, ever, ever, ever forget". Just two heavyweight fighters going punch for punch.

The Sooners made quick work of the Gators in Oklahoma City, winning the Best of 3 series in just two games. Florida coach Tim Walton went with No. 3 pitcher Alesia Ocasio (8-2), and she got the loss.

Whether those changes are enough to get the Gators another win and another game in this season remains to be seen.


"I told my team in about the - I don't know if it was the eighth or the 21st, whatever inning it was, I told them great job, proud of you guys", he said.

Oklahoma (60-9) can clinch a repeat Tuesday in Game 2 of the best-of-three series.

Gourley, also a member of the national team, was dominant in Florida's 5-2 semifinal win over Washington. Florida won in 2014 and 2015.

Sophomore Shay Knighten earned WCWS Most Outstanding Player honors. She's won back-to-back title for the first time in her illustrious career and given the Sooners early dibs on Team of the Decade. It stood in against a historic pitching staff and, with Knigten's swings the lasting images, came out with the trophy. The team then was informed and they were in full support. "We felt like (national player of the year Kelly) Barnhill was going to come out for them". It was her seventh strikeout as she allowed two earned runs on eight hits and one walk in 10 1/3 innings. After Knighten's three-run, go-ahead blast on Monday, she collected another three-run hit.

The Gators answered with a solo homer from Sophia Reynoso in the top of the 2nd inning to make it 1-1. In the seventh, the Gators erased a one-run deficit.

Sooner head coach Patty Gasso, in her press conference following the game, called it "a game of will, a game of team, a game of character".

But Lopez got back on track and locked the Gators down for one more inning, then handed off to Nicole Mendes who had pitched just over 17 frames all season long. "We're going to have to be really good and very disciplined when we face her". "So we just tried to answer back".

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