Oklahoma’s softball team got an RBI triple from Nicole Mendes to break a tie in the sixth inning and help the Sooners beat Alabama 3-2 in the first round of the Women’s College World Series on Thursday night at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
Mendes nearly homered on a line drive that hit the top of the fence, but it scored Raegan Rogers to give OU the lead.
Giselle Juarez got the pitching win, striking out nine and giving up four hits in a complete game effort.
OU struck first on a sacrifice fly by Caleigh Clifton in the first inning that scored Sydney Romero to give the Sooners a 1-0 lead.
Alabama answered with a run in the top of the third inning on an RBI single by Bailey Hemphill to tie it 1-1.
Oklahoma responded with a run in the bottom of the third when Joceyln Alo grounded a single up the middle to score Romero, who had tripled to lead off the inning.
The Crimson Tide tied it at 2-2 in the top of the fifth on a solo home run by Claire Jenkins, setting the stage for Mendes’ heroics.
Oklahoma’s win sets up a fourth matchup this season with Oklahoma State.
The Sooners and Cowgirls will meet in the first ever Bedlam meeting in the WCWS on Friday night, 30 minutes after the conclusion of the 6:00 game between UCLA and Arizona, which should be about 8:30-8:45.
OU swept the Cowgirls in a three-game regular season series this year.