Oklahoma’s top-ranked softball team beat James Madison 7-1 on Monday to advance to the finals of the Women’s College World Series at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
After giving up a home run on the first pitch of the game to Kate Gordon, OU starting pitcher Giselle Juarez shut out the Dukes after that, striking out 11, walking just one and giving up four total hits.
The Sooner offense took command with a four-run fifth inning, getting a pair of two-run doubles from Mackenzie Donihoo and Jayda Coleman to give OU a 6-1 lead and knock JMU pitcher Odicci Alexander out of the game.
Oklahoma took the lead with two runs in the fourth inning.
Nicole Mendes led off the inning with a triple to right center field, then scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1.
Later in the inning, Jana Johns singled in Lynnsie Elam to give OU a 2-1 lead.
The Sooners got some insurance in the sixth inning when Jocelyn Alo blasted a solo home run to left field, her 32nd of the year to extend her OU and Big 12 record.
Oklahoma becomes the sixth team in WCWS history to lose their first round game and make the finals.
The Sooners become the third school to advance to the WCWS finals six times in a nine-year span.
Oklahoma will play Florida State in the best-of-three finals, starting with Game 1 on Tuesday night at 6:30 pm.
Game 2 is Wednesday at 6:00 pm and Game 3 is Thursday if necessary at 2:00 pm.
(photo courtesy @OU_Softball)