OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (WAVY) — Senior and all-time Colonial Athletic Association home run leader Kate Gordon hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the eighth inning to give JMU softball their first ever Women’s College World Series victory on Thursday, and it came against the number one team in the country.
The Dukes took down No. 1 Oklahoma in Oklahoma City 4-3 to open the tournament. It was aired on ESPN.
The old cliché held true: Gordon was due. The outfielder from Shenandoah, Virginia, had gone hitless in the first seven innings and in her previous three games.
Thursday’s homer was Gordon’s 19th on the year and she’s batting .364.
But it was another key JMU senior who set the Dukes up to even get to that point. Odicci Alexander gave up three runs on a home run in the bottom of the 3rd, but went into lockdown mode after that point, stifling what analysts have called one of the best offensive teams of all time in Oklahoma.
Alexander, from Boydton, Virginia, got a fly out to left for the final out of the game and was swarmed by her teammates.
She threw 129 pitches and had nine strikeouts and just six hits allowed and two walks. She’s now 17-1 on the year.
The three runs from Oklahoma (50-3) was their lowest run total this season. The Sooners have been routinely routing teams by run rule the whole year, including fellow top ten squads.
Redshirt shortstop Sara Jubas, who went by “Miss May” for her clutch play during the month of May, also came up big again on Thursday. Her three-run home run in the top of the third helped give JMU an early foothold and gave Alexander the run support she needed.
Oklahoma’s Tiare Jennings, who was named NFCA Freshman of the Year, had the three run homer for the Sooners. Redshirt senior pitcher Shannon Saile also had nine strikeouts and allowed just three hits in the loss over eight innings.
The Dukes are now 4-1 against “Power 5” teams this season, having taken down two other top ten teams in Missouri and Tennessee to get to the WCWS. They’ll now face Oklahoma State on Friday night at 7.
The WCWS is a double elimination tournament. The two teams that advance will square off in a three-game series starting next week.