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May 25, 2014

Lady Vols force Game 3 after a long day at the park

NORMAN — Another day, another lengthy rain delay. And again Oklahoma struggled after the break — this one approaching nearly four hours — while Tennessee threatened.

But in the second game of the best-of-three series Saturday, the Sooners didn’t have a lead to fall back on, nor were they ever to recover at the plate. That translated into a 4-0 victory for Tennessee in a game in which the Lady Vols banged out just three hits to OU’s five but benefited from three walks and a pair of costly Sooner errors.

The rain delay pushed the third and deciding game to 2 p.m. today at Marita Hynes Field instead of being played immediately after as was originally planned. There was so much confusion surrounding the end of the game — when officials announced an 11:20 p.m. starting time — that it took a flurry of phone calls and protests from OU coach Patty Gasso and Tennessee coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly before the gametime was moved.

The postgame drama was almost more eventful than the game itself, a contest that Tennessee dominated from the start to the much-delayed finish.

For a team that has had one of the nation’s most explosive offenses in the country, the Sooners couldn’t string anything together on Saturday. They recorded five hits, two more than the Volunteers, but couldn’t bring any of their seven baserunners home. It was especially surprising given that seventh-seeded OU (49-11) posted seven runs on Tennessee starter Ellen Renfroe on Friday.

The Sooners had their chances. Shelby Pendley went 2 for 3 at the plate and Brittany Williams returned to the lineup for OU after leaving Friday’s game with an apparent arm or shoulder injury. But several scoring opportunities went to waste as the Sooners batted into one double play and struck out at inopportune times.

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