OKLAHOMA CITY — The Sooners have lost their share of games this season. They entered the Women’s College World Series 50-11 and winners of 30 of their last 33 games.
But rarely has OU lost in the manner it did Thursday, when Alabama defeated a suddenly passive Sooners team 6-2. OU managed just one hit on a Shelby Pendley home run.
After the game, the Sooners knew they left one on the field.
“We knew what we had to do; it just wasn’t clicking,” Lauren Chamberlain said. “I don’t think you can take a pitch off when you’re in the world series, and that was proved tonight.”
Coach Patty Gasso also didn’t mince words when she described the loss.
“We didn’t compete with everything we had from the start to the finish, and at this venue against a team that good you can’t do that,” she said “We took too many pitches off tonight. The best way to say it is that we were playing defense on offense, and we’re better than that.
“(Alabama) swung it very well and took advantage of opportunities that they had. They answered, like a good team does. I credit them for answering what we put out there, but we didn’t put anything out there.”
Very rarely has Gasso had such strong words for a team that’s making its fourth consecutive World Series appearance. Even after the Sooners dropped two of three at Louisiana-Lafayette she found a positive in the performance, thanks to Pendley making her pitching debut and performing well.
Maybe the closest the Sooners have come to how they looked on Thursday was in an April 18 run-rule loss to Texas in Norman. It was an uncharacteristic performance from OU and was the program’s first run-rule loss since 2009. But the Sooners responded to that loss the way fans have come to expect under Gasso. They rebounded the next night to run-rule Texas 8-0 in five innings and take control of the Big 12.