Women’s College World Series: Oklahoma’s season ends with 4-2 loss to Oregon


Saturday night was one to remember in regards to the Big 12. The Baylor Bears rallied from a 7-0 deficit in the sixthing to knock off the Kentucky Wildcats in eight. The Bears will represent the Big 12 tomorrow when they get their rematch with the Florida Gators, but the Sooners will not be joining them.

The Oklahoma Sooners knew their road to another championship wouldn’t be easy, and the top-seeded Oregon Ducks were too much for Gasso’s squad, dethroning the 2013 National Champions, with a 4-2 victory.

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Following her 3-1 win over the UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, Kelsey Stevens didn’t get the start for the Sooners Saturday night. Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso went instead with her First Team All-American Shelby Pendley in the circle, who gave up a hit to Oregon’s leadoff hitter Courtney Ceo. Ceo advanced all the way to third, but with two outs, Kailee Cuico went down swinging.

Oklahoma couldn’t get much done offensively in the first. Destinee Martinez grounded out to the short stop. Lauren Chamberlain was getting under a few balls that went foul, but flied out to right field. Pendley, in her first at-bat, grounded out to the second basemen. It was not the hot start Oklahoma was accustomed to in this World Series.

Scoreless through one though, Oregon’s Janelle Lindvall and Alexa Peterson both grounded out before Koral Costa singled to right field. Karine Shaver, though, popped up to Henson for the third out.

Oklahoma’s leadoff hitter Brittany Williams picked up a walk in the bottom of the second, but OU’s resident Aussie Georgia Casey flied out to left field. Oregon’s Cheridan Hawkins, then, struck out Callie Parsons and Jessica Vest leaving Williams and Miller on second and first.

The third inning wasn’t so kind to Oklahoma’s defense. Oregon found the gaps, and scored the first runs of the night. Pendley hit Nikki Udria and walked Alexa Gillespie. A Janie Takeda double drove in Udria and moved Gillespie to third. Pendley was pulled, and in cameKelsey Stevens. Stevens’ first batter, Kailee Cuico, shrugged off her first inning at-bat, and drove in two runs to give Oregon a 3-0 lead.

Oklahoma continued to struggle in the batter’s box. Leadoff hitter Whitney Ellis popped up to Karine Shaver for the first out. Destinee Martinez was fortunate to reach first on a fielding error—Cuico couldn’t hold on to the ball. However, a Pendley ground out would set up Cheridan Hawkins to catch Brittany Williams looking on the strikeout, leaving two on in scoring position at the end of third.

In desperate need of some momentum, Kelsey Stevens retired the side in order. In the bottom of the fourth, Oklahoma’s Georgia Casey and Erin Miller both hit singles to lead off the order. This set up Jessica Vest, with one out, to drive in Casey from third. The Sooners had Miller in scoring position, but was tagged out at third trying to steal. Whitney Ellis grounded out to Cheridan Hawkins, ending a one-run inning for Oklahoma.

At the top of the order for the Ducks, Courtney Ceo led off the fifth inning. Ceo reached first off a bunt, and attempted to steal second, but was called out. Alyssa Gillespie struck out swinging and Janie Takeda flied out to Destinee Martinez. The Sooners made it out unscathed, and they continued to chip at Oregon’s lead.

Martinez led off the order for the Sooners, grounding out to Udria. Lauren Chamberlain, still trying to find the fence, struck out. However, Shelby Pendley blasted a solo shot to right field to cut the lead to just a run. It was the spark OU needed, but Hawkins struck out the next batter, Brittany Williams, to wrap up the fifth.

A close game in Oklahoma City went down to the wire. Kelsey Stevens continued to shut down the Ducks. Stevens added two more K’s with Alexa Peterson and Koral Costa going down swinging to retire the side. But in the bottom of the sixth, Oregon finally held OU scoreless for the first time since the third inning.

Needing three outs and a one run deficit to cut, Kelsey Stevens struck out Jamie Sullivan, who came in to pinch hit for Karine Shaver. Udria, though, doubled down the right field line, and Courtney Ceo was walked. Stevens managed to strike out Alyssa Gillespie, but Takeda came through with an RBI double to provide the Ducks with an insurance run before Kailee Cuico flied out to left field.

With three outs to spare, Oklahoma needed a rally. Oregon head coach Mike White put in Karissa Hovinga in place of Hawkins. Leading off for the Sooners, Whitney Ellis, with an 0-2 count, hit a single to left field. Destinee Martinez grounded out to Hovinga, but Ellis advanced to second. Lauren Chamberlain, looking to tie things up, struck out swinging. With a runner on second and two outs, Pendley put Miller in scoring position with a single to third base. Brittany Williams, who’s hit 14 home runs in 2014, could not deliver reaching first on a fielder’s choice and Pendley getting tagged out at second.

The loss gives Oklahoma their 13th of the season, and ends its 2014 campaign with a 1-2 record in the WCWS. The Oregon Ducks will move on to Sunday and need two wins over the Alabama Crimson Tide to advance to the WCWS Finals Monday night.

Congratulations to Patty Gasso on another successful season, and a fourth straight WCWS appearance. The Sooners are certainly not done, returning much of their main cast for 2015.

For all of your WCWS coverage, follow @StorminInNorman for updates from Oklahoma City’s ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.