Women’s College World Series: Sooners prepare for elimination game with the Ragin’ Cajuns


Losing the opening-round game is not a favorable spot to be in. The Oklahoma Sooners dropped its WCWS opener to the Alabama Crimson Tide, 6-2, which puts Oklahoma in the loser’s bracket with Louisiana-Lafayette.

OU’s path to consecutive National Championships will be no easy task. A lot will have to go Oklahoma’s way for them to even get to Monday night.

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“We will have success but we need to bring that from the start to the finish,” Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said. “Can’t take a pitch off. We took too many pitches off tonight. You cannot take a pitch off. Not at this venue, not at this level; you cannot take a break.”

First on the list is the Ragin’ Cajuns in an elimination game. This high-powered ULL squad averages 6.4 runs per game.

Kentucky pitcher Kelsey Nunley shut down ULL’s fiery offensive attack, holding the Ragin’ Cajuns to one hit in seven innings. That one hit, though, was a home run from Lexie Elkins, who has has seen 23 balls go over the fence this season.

As a team, the Cajuns have hit 89 home runs in 2014. Their lineup is stacked with girls like Lexie Elkins and Hayden Haley, who has hit 15 home runs and is second only to Elkins in RBI’s.

Christina Hamilton’s 1.54 era speaks for itself. ULL’s All-American pitcher is 29-3 and has struck out 185 batters this season, and she will look to do what Jaclyn Traina did to the Sooners Thursday night.

“We have a plan for each pitcher we face,” Oklahoma’s Lauren Chamberlain said. “Key word is ‘clutch.’ Just clutching up. Finding a way. We just kind of got late in the game thinking it’s gonna come, it’s gonna come.  It’s go time from here on out.”

They will certainly need a different approach tomorrow afternoon. ULL and the Sooners will square off at 1:30 pm CT in Oklahoma City.

The Sooners have not been knocked out of the WCWS in two games since 2011, when the top-seeded Arizona State Sun Devils and fifth-seeded Missouri Tigers took out Gasso’s club.

Winning it all will be difficult, but it has been done before. The last time a team lost its opening-round game and won the National Championship was the UCLA Bruins in 2003.

The Sooners will have to go through the Cajuns first, and see if they can overcome a ULL team that took two of three games against Oklahoma earlier in the season.

“I think we’re a completely different team than what Lafayette saw back in March,” Gasso said. “I know this team is excited to play them. I think we’re both familiar with each other but, again, we’re different. And I think that will help us.”