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June 7, 2012

Rain hurts almost as much as lost chances

OKLAHOMA CITY — For Oklahoma, immortality will have to wait.

Justice, too.

Give the Sooners an assist Wednesday night and early Thursday morning at Hall of Fame Stadium, for they failed to right the ship in time. And still, understand well this was no way to determine a national champion.

But it did.

Alabama.

The Crimson Tide stopped the Sooners 5-4 at 12:31 Thursday morning. They did it, more than anything, with a quartet of fourth-inning runs.

It just happened to be the same inning the rains came back to northeast Oklahoma City, which just happened to coincide with a walk and three wild pitches — Sooner pitcher Keilani Ricketts unable to control the ball out of her fingers — that led directly to the Crimson Tide’s first run of the game.

That was the moment OU coach Patty Gasso came out of her dugout for the second time to confer with the umpires, and the moment Ricketts made this expression with her arms that told the story, told everybody what the heck was she supposed to do with a slick and soaked ball that kept slipping out of her left hand.

So the game was postponed.

Just maybe, long enough for everybody to put their ponchos on.

Play resumed, Alabama and its fans remained in a frenzy, Ricketts gave up a hit to Amanda Locke, a double to Courtney Conley that tied the game … and then the Sooners did it to themselves.

Fielding Jazlyn Lunceford’s grounder, shortstop Jessica Vest threw it in the mud in front of first baseman Lauren Chamberlain, who couldn’t handle it, who then picked up the ball and threw home even worse than Vest had thrown to her, allowing Conley to cross and the Tide to take the lead.

Simply put, it was the worst, most forgettable and unnecessary half inning in the history of Sooner softball.

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