OKLAHOMA CITY – No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 10 Florida State each won two elimination games on Saturday (early Sunday morning) to advance to the semifinals.
The Sooners’ bats came alive as they knocked off Georgia, 8-0 (6 inn.), and defending national champs and No. 2 UCLA, 10-3, while the Seminoles won a pair of tightly-contested matchups, 4-3 over No. 11 Arizona and 4-2 No. 5 Oklahoma State, the latter finishing at 2:18 a.m. local time.
OU (52-3) will face off in a rematch against James Madison (41-2) at 1 p.m., followed by FSU (46-11-1) and No. 3 Alabama at 3:30 p.m. The Dukes and Tide only need to win one game, while their opponents must win two to advance to the Championship Series on Monday.
The 2021 season came to a close for Georgia (34-23), Arizona (41-15), UCLA (47-7) and Oklahoma State (48-12).
Game 7 –No. 1 Oklahoma 8, Georgia 0 (6) (Box Score)
Oklahoma’s offense shined and Giselle Juarez was stellar in an 8-0 win over Georgia in the first elimination game on Saturday. The victory set up a matchup with UCLA. The Sooners launched three home runs including Jocelyn Alo’s 31st, which broke the single-season program record.
Juarez, following a few weeks of rest, struck out 10 and allowed just three hits over 5.1 innings of work.
Mackenzie Donihoo registered a career-high three hits in the game, going 3-for-3 with a two-run homer to open the scoring for the Sooners. Kinzie Hansen also went yard, stroking a three-run blast in the fifth extending the lead to 5-0. Alo’s longball capped off the scoring in the sixth.
Game 8 – No. 10 Florida State 4, No. 11 Arizona 3 (Box Score)
Florida State picked up a walk-off 4-3 win comeback win over Arizona to stay alive at the WCWS. The Seminoles trailed after five innings, but a three-run home run by Dani Morgan in the sixth and Cassidy Davis’ sacrifice fly in the seventh secured a 4-3 victory over the Wildcats.
In the fourth, Arizona jumped on top with a solo home run from Malia Martinez and loaded the bases with one out. Following a pitching change to Kathryn Sandercock, the Wildcats only mustered one more run to take a 2-0 lead.
Arizona once again loaded the bases in the fifth, but Sandercock worked out the jam without allowing run to cross the plate.
FSU grabbed a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth on a three-run long ball deep into the leftfield seats. However, Arizona did not go down quietly as Reyna Carranco doubled to center scoring Janelle Meono with the tying run in top half of the seventh.
A fielder’s choice followed by an error allowed Kaley Mudge, who led off with a single, to advance to third. Davis stepped up and sent a deep fly ball to left, allowing Mudge to cross the dish with the winning run.
Sandercock (25-3) earned the win in relief. She allowed a run on four hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
Game 9 – No. 1 Oklahoma 10, No. 2 UCLA 3 (Box Score)
Oklahoma fell in an early 3-0 hole, but the offense came alive to score 10 unanswered runs and Juarez provided five innings of shutout relief to topple UCLA, 10-3.
UCLA jumped out to a 3-0 lead courtesy of a three-run homer to right field from Rachel Garcia in the top of the third.
The Sooners immediately responded with two runs in the bottom half to the frame on a two-out RBI triple by Alo and an RBI infield single from Hansen. They would take the lead for good an inning later on a two-run triple off the rightfield fence by Tiare Jennings. That tied the NCAA freshman record for single-season RBI at 90.
Donihoo added her second of three homers on the day, a solo shot in the fifth. A three-run fifth, followed by Donihoo’s two-run shot to left in the sixth closed out the scoring.
Juarez (20-1) surrendered three hits, struck out four and walked one. Donihoo, Hansen and Jayda Coleman each recorded two hits for the Sooners.
Garcia (18-3) suffered the defeat, allowing eight runs, six earned, on nine hits with seven punchouts and three walks. She went 2-for-4 at the plate as did teammate Maya Brady. Kinsley Washington finished 2-for-3 for the Bruins.
Game 10 – No. 10 Florida State 4, No. 5 Oklahoma State 2 (Box Score)
With first pitch just 10 minutes before midnight local time, Florida State was in familiar position, needing to win another elimination game. At 2:18 a.m., the Seminoles did just that with a 4-2 triumph over Oklahoma State.
FSU has won its last six WCWS elimination games, matching the record set by UCLA ,who won four straight in 2003 and its next two in 2006. The Seminoles won four elimination games in 2018 on their way to the national title.
Sandercock was locked in as she picked up her 26th victory with a complete-game effort. She did not allow an earned run, scattered five hits, struck out eight and walked two.
All the runs she needed to work with came in a three-run Seminole third. Anna Shelnutt led off the with a solo home run down the left-field line. Josie Muffley walked and scored two pitches later on Mudge’s RBI double to left centerfield. Sydney Sherrill’s RBI groundout pushed the advantage to 3-0.
The Cowgirls scored an unearned run in the third and fifth innings to get within one run, but two errors and a wild pitch allowed FSU to add an insurance run in the top of the seventh.
Five different Seminole recorded a hits. Avery Hobson registered two of OSU’s five base knocks.