Sooners Win “Epic” Marathon Game in WCWS Finals

Oklahoma's softball team outlasted Florida in a 17 inning affair, beating the Gators 7-5 to take Game 1 of the Women's College World Series Finals on Monday night at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.

Shay Knighten hit a 3-run home run in the top of the 17th inning to break a 4-4 tie and give the Sooners a 7-4  lead.

Florida answered with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 17th, but OU pitcher Paige Lowary struck out Kayli Kvistad with two outs to end the game and give OU the win.

The third time was the charm for the Sooners, who twice were one out away from winning.

In the bottom of the 7th inning, OU led 2-1 when Florida's Sophia Reynoso doubled in Aleshia Ocasio to tie the game at 2-2 and force extra innings.

It stayed that way until the top of the 12th inning, when Fale Aviu belted a 2-run home run to right field to give the Sooners a 4-2 lead.

But with two outs in the bottom of the 12th, the Gators tied it again, this time Amanda Lorenz doubled to left center to score Reynoso and Lily Mann and tied the game 4-4.

It stayed that way until the 17th when Knighten's homer gave OU the lead for good.

Florida struck first with a run in the 4th inning, as Ocasio singled in Nicole DeWitt for a 1-0 Gators lead.

Oklahoma tied it in the top of the 5th inning on an RBI single by Sydney Romero that scored Nicole Pendley to tie it 1-1.

The Sooners then took the lead in the 6th inning on a solo home run by Nicole Mendes to make it 2-1 Oklahoma.

Both teams used two pitchers each, with all four throwing more than 100 pitches.

Lowary got the win for the Oklahoma, going 10.1 innings, giving up eight hits and striking out seven.

Paige Parker threw the remainder of the game for OU, replacing Lowary in the 6th inning before Lowary returned in the 12th to try to finish it off.

Parker went 6.2 innings, gave up four hits and struck out seven.

Florida's Kelly Barnhill, the USA Softball national player of the year, took the pitching loss.

Barnhill threw nine inning, giving up six hits and five runs and striking out 13.

She started the game and finished it, with Delaine Gourley pitching in between.

Gourley went 8 innings, struck out 13 as well and gave up four hits.

The game was the longest by innings in WCWS Finals history and it took 5 hours and 28 minutes to play.

Oklahoma leads the best-of-three series one game to none, with Game 2 set for Tuesday night at 7:00 pm at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.

The video above has postgame comments from OU head coach Patty Gasso, first baseman Shay Knighten, and pitcher Paige Lowary.