OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (WAVY/AP) — JMU softball’s epic run at their first ever Women’s College World Series came to an end Monday afternoon against No. 1 Oklahoma.
OU’s Giselle Juarez struck out 11 in another stellar performance, helping the Sooners beat star pitcher Odicci Alexander and the Dukes 7-1.
Behind Alexander’s pitching, unseeded James Madison surprised Oklahoma on the opening day of the tournament Thursday to move the Sooners into the losers bracket. Oklahoma won two games on Saturday, and then beat James Madison on Sunday to force the winner-take-all game for a spot in the championship series.
Alexander, who pitched complete games in wins over Oklahoma and No. 5 seed Oklahoma State to reach the semifinals, lasted into the fifth inning Monday. The crowd of mostly Oklahoma fans at one point giving her a standing ovation as she left the game.
If the Dukes had won, they would have played Florida State in the championship series, who beat Alabama in their deciding game Monday.
Oklahoma is going for its fifth national title after winning in 2000, 2013, 2016 and 2017.
Juarez, or “G” as she often goes by, allowed four hits in the complete game. Kate Gordon drove the left-hander’s first pitch over the wall in left, riling up the small group of loyal purple-clad fans behind the team’s dugout, but it was all Juarez from there.
Oklahoma went ahead to stay in the fourth. Nicole Mendes tripled and scored on a wild pitch. Jana Johns made it 2-1 when she singled in Lynnsie Elam.
The Sooners then broke it open with four runs in the fifth. Mackenzie Donihoo and Jayda Coleman each had a two-run double.
Jocelyn Alo hit her 32nd homer of the season — extending her school record — in the sixth to push Oklahoma’s lead to 7-1.
JMU may have lost, but not before captivating the nation.
The Dukes got love from Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera, tennis legend Billie Jean King, Major League Baseball and more.