OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The venue and the hype were different, but the result was the same.
Giselle “G” Juarez struck out 11 and gave up one run in six innings to help Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State 6-1 in the Women’s College World Series on Friday.
The top-seeded Sooners beat the Cowgirls for the 24th consecutive time overall and the fourth time this season. It was the first time the in-state rivals played in the World Series, and the matchup helped draw a single-session record crowd of 9,820.
“Knowing this was part of history — who knows if it will happen again,” Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said. “Hopefully it will. But the fact that the fans came out and were enjoying it, rooting for their team, is what makes it special.”
Oklahoma State coach Kenny Gajewski said his team has matured to the point where the pressure wasn’t overwhelming. The Cowgirls just ran into an excellent team.
“I don’t think anybody expected us to be here, to be very honest,” he said. “I felt like we were playing with house money.”
Oklahoma (56-3), which is seeking its third national title in four years, advanced to the semifinals on Sunday and needs one win to reach the championship series.
Oklahoma had eight hits, all from different players, and all six runs were scored by different players.
The game included a delay of about 20 minutes after the lights behind right field went out in the fifth inning. Fans had fun with it, with many turning on the flashlights on their cellphones while several songs with references to light blared through the sound system.
“We were just trying to be ourselves, like our swag-tastic selves, get our fans to get rowdy,” Oklahoma State’s Rylee Bayless said. “They were getting their place rowdy over there. We were just trying to keep the momentum high, our energy high in that moment.”
Samantha Show pitched four innings and gave up three runs on six hits for Oklahoma State (45-16). She went the distance in a win over Florida on Thursday.
Oklahoma got the scoring started right away as Jocelyn Alo singled and knocked in two in the first. Shay Knighten had an RBI single to make it 3-0 before Oklahoma State had a chance to hit.
“It was just an unlucky inning for us,” Show said. “I felt like I was making some good pitches. They were putting balls where we weren’t. I was happy that we only held them to three.”
Oklahoma State cut its deficit to 3-1 on an RBI single by Michaela Richbourg in the first, but Oklahoma scored three times on walks with the bases loaded in the sixth to build a comfortable lead.
Oklahoma State will play the winner between Washington and Minnesota in an elimination game Saturday.
“We’re good, and there’s a reason why we’re here,” Show said. “This game, it happened, it’s done. We can’t think about it again. We just have to focus on the game ahead of us because that’s the most important one.”
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