OKLAHOMA CITY — It was a dark and stormy night — no, really, it was.
And it was long.
Unfortunately for Oklahoma and its fans, the Women’s College World Series Championship’s deciding Game 3 was also ugly.
The heavy rain didn’t help OU starting pitcher Keilani Ricketts any. Alabama took advantage of four Ricketts’ wild pitches and a Sooner error in the bottom of the fourth inning, then added what would turn out to be a very important insurance run an inning later to come from behind and beat OU 5-4, earning its first national championship in program history.
“I want to give Alabama so much credit,” OU coach Patty Gasso said. “They played hard, we played hard. Their fans were great and brought out the best in our fans … They really deserved it. They did a fantastic job.”
Sooner fans had plenty to cheer about early.
Ricketts got OU started with a bang in the top of the second inning. She took the first pitch she saw from Jackie Traina way up into the right-field bleachers. An inning later, Sooner freshman Lauren Chamberlain showed Ricketts up with an even longer homer into the left-field seats. Chamberlain’s was a two-run shot that put OU up 3-0, and all was looking good for the Sooner Nation.
The lead wouldn’t last, though, and Mother Nature would play a big part in OU’s loss.
“I feel like they’re my own kids,” an emotional Gasso said of her team after the game. “It hurts me and it hurts them. But they’re so talented, and I’m so proud of them … We are so blessed to have been given the opportunity to play for a national championship.”
The game started almost three hours late thanks to heavy rain and storms across the state.