It has been a dramatic year for sports in Oklahoma, to say the least. Oklahoma Sooners football lost to Clemson 37-17 in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Eve. Sooners basketball was projected to go far in the NCAA Tournament, but was stunned by the Villanova Wildcats, the team who went on to win it all.
Most recently, the Oklahoma City Thunder had a commanding 3-1 lead over the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, but weren’t able to finish the job. A feeling of defeat is normal after taking all those losses, but the Sooners women’s softball team might have restored some of that lost faith.
On Wednesday night, 4-seed Oklahoma defeated 3-seed Auburn 2-1 to earn their third Women’s College World Series title. This winner-takes-all game came the day after fan favorite Auburn overcame a 7-0 deficit to beat Oklahoma, tying the series 1-1.
Oklahoma scored their only two runs of Game 3 in the first inning. Two of the Sooners best players graduated after last season, leaving the future of the program in question. These two were part of the 2013 World Series Head coach Patty Gasso switched up the lineup by starting four freshmen and four sophomores. Pitcher Paige Parker, sophomore, pitched an unbelieveable complete game to hold Auburn to just one run, five hits, and five strikeouts.
When asked about her biggest challenge of the game, Parker said, “Keeping my team in the game and just going out there and competing. I felt nothing on the mound, it was just fight and battle and be tough for my teammates.”
Tough she was, throwing 107 pitches and 73 strikes. For Auburn, one error cost them the game.
Oklahoma’s Caleigh Clifton hit an infield single in the direction of Auburn senior second baseman Emily Carosene. With Clifton on base, Shay Knighten came up to bat, a ground ball that went through the glove of Carosene and the second baseman went on to throw the ball away for an error.
“That’s never happened before, but it happened today. It slipped,” commented Carosene after the game.
The momentum was now in favor of Oklahoma and there was nothing that could be done to stop it.
What does this mean for Oklahoma sports fans? The future remains bright for their beloved softball team. With a roster full of talented freshmen and sophomores, it would be no surprise if this team could go on to win a fourth World Series title in the next few seasons.
As for the rest of Oklahoma’s teams, major adjustments can mean more heartbreak. Buddy Hield led the Sooners to the tourney, but he is now preparing for the upcoming NBA Draft. Thunder star Kevin Durant is now a free agent and looks to be weighing his options in the league, which would be a major loss to the organization.
But until KD decides his future, and possibly steals OKC’s joy, they can revel in the Lady Sooners’ softball champion!
Kayla Solomon is a new contributor to AllSportsEverything.com. She attends Temple University for nine months out of the year, but will be here in New York all summer! Follow Kayla on Twitter at @dontKAYme, Instagram at @kayla_nyree. Also, find her writing weekly on blackaphillyated.com and on her personal blog, dearfuturekay.wordpress.com.
photo via ESPN