The Norman Transcript

Sports

May 26, 2014

Barrage of long balls propels Sooners back to World Series

NORMAN — There was no dogpile.

The Sooners didn’t throw their gloves in the middle of the field. They didn’t rush the field and they didn’t have an over-the-top celebration.

But Oklahoma is headed back to the Women’s College World Series after an 8-2 victory over Tennessee in the deciding Game 3 of the Norman Super Regional.

“You’re seeing a team, it doesn’t matter the circumstance, they do it right,” OU coach Patty Gasso said after watching her team belt five home runs in the bounceback victory a day after falling 4-0 to the Lady Vols. “Their expectations are through the roof, and they do it very matter-of-fact, very blue-collar. You don’t seem them do crazy dogpiles.

“You saw a team come together and give it all they had freely and with determination. I’m very proud of their effort.”

Saturday night ended on an exhausting note, as OU was shut out by Tennessee and went through a 20-minute roller coaster of whether or not they would begin Game 3 at 11:30 p.m. In the end, after a stand taken by Gasso and Ralph and Karen Weekly, her co-counterparts at Tennessee, the game was pushed to Sunday afternoon.

And given a second chance to secure their fourth straight trip to the World Series, the Sooners didn’t disappoint.

Tennessee struck first thanks to a second-inning error, but OU (50-11) responded an inning later on Lauren Chamberlain’s first of two home runs to tie the game. Erin Miller — batting sixth after entering the lineup on Friday and impressing in two games — came through with a single to center that gave Brittany Williams the opportunity to make a perfect slide around the tag at home on an aggressive baserunning play and put the Sooners on top.

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