|W - Parker (30-3)||7.0||2||0||0||2||7|
|L - Juarez (26-6)||4.0||4||1||1||2||4|
|OU - Alo||3||1||1||1||1||1|
|ASU - Gibson||2||0||1||0||0||0|
OKLAHOMA CITY – The two-time defending national champions kept alive their quest for a three-peat by avoiding elimination in the first game on Elimination Saturday of the Women’s College World Series.
Sparked by another dominating pitching performance from senior All-American Paige Parker and freshman Jocelyn Alo’s 29th home run of the season, the Oklahoma softball team remained alive in the losers’ bracket with a 2-0 victory over Arizona State in the opening game of elimination at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
The fourth-seeded Sooners (56-4), who opened the WCWS with a 2-0 loss to Washington on Thursday, now face second-seeded Florida (56-10) in a game scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The Sooners, who swept the Gators in last year’s best-of-three championship series, will be the home team.
The OU-UF winner then faces fifth-seeded Washington (51-8) at noon Sunday and must beat the Huskies twice to advance to the championship series.
Parker (30-3) kept the Sun Devils (48-13) off-balance all game. She struck out seven, induced 10 infield pop-ups and nearly ended up throwing a no-hitter.
ASU’s first hit initially was ruled an error when freshman first baseman Danielle Gibson drilled a hard grounder down the right-field line that got past OU first baseman Shay Knighten. Between innings, the ruling later was changed to a hit.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Sun Devils designated player DeNae Chapman stubbed a lazy pop fly in front of home plate. With Parker, Knighten and catcher Lea Wodach all converging on the ball, no one was left to cover first base.
Parker wound up with a two-hitter that required just 78 pitches (55 strikes).
Alo homered to right field on the first pitch of the third inning to give OU a 1-0 lead.
Wodach, who frequently has made solid contact throughout the postseason, made it 2-0 when she snuck a line drive between first and second base to score Caleigh Clifton, who stole second base after reaching on a hit-by-pitch.
The Sooners managed to win despite leaving eight runners on-base, six of them in scoring position.