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OU Softball (Extra Frames): Mendes' triple the beginning of Alexander's undoing in the circle

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CORRECTION WCWS James Madison Oklahoma Softball

James Madison starting pitcher Odicci Alexander (3) stands in the pitching circle as Oklahoma's Jayda Coleman (24) celebrates at second base behind her after hitting a double in the fifth inning of an NCAA Women's College World Series softball game Monday, June 7, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

• For the record: Oklahoma is now 54-3 after winning four-straight elimination games to keep its season alive. James Madison finished its season with 41-4, it’s last two losses, 6-3 and 7-1, to OU. The two programs had never met prior this year’s Women’s College World Series. The Sooners now hold a 2-1 all-time series record over the Dukes.

• Inside the game: OU’s fourth inning began with a triple to right-center field from Nicole Mendes. JMU pitcher Odicci Alexander then struck out Grace Lyons after a 10-pitch at bat. Alexander could not win the next battle, walking Mackenzie Donihoo on four pitches. Ball 4 hit the dirt, rolled up catcher Lauren Bernett’s glove and arm and flew into the netting above the backstop, rolling up the protective screen. Mendes broke for home as soon as the pitch got past Bernett to tie. In a position to allow zero or one run, Alexander appeared taxed. Singles from Jayda Coleman and Jana Johns followed, the lead doubled and one inning later, OU scored four more.

• Notes of note: With Jocelyn Alo’s home run, the Sooners are at 155 this season, three shy of the NCAA single season record … Giselle Juarez’s 11 strikeouts tied a season high. It was the fifth time this season she worked seven innings… Mackenzie Donihoo and Jayda Coleman led the Sooners with two RBIs each.

• On deck: OU meets Florida State in the best 2-of-3 championship series for the national championship. Game 1 will be at 6:30 p.m. today, Game 2 at 6 p.m. Wednesday and a possible Game 3 at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Abby Bitterman

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