McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Sports

June 4, 2013

Oklahoma completed big rally in Women’s College World Series history, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning

McALESTER — The game seemed over. Tennessee finally broke the seal with Madison Shipman’s three-run home run in the 11th inning, and the Sooners were down to, literally, their last strike.

That’s all they needed.

Oklahoma completed one of the biggest rallies in Women’s College World Series history, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning — two of them with two outs — to keep the game going and set the stage for Lauren Chamberlain in the next inning.

And Chamberlain didn’t disappoint. Her 60th career home run — a deep shot to left field that barely stayed fair and came on the first pitch of the at-bat — was also the most important one she’s ever hit. It sent the Sooners home with historic 5-3 win in the longest championship series game ever played at the World Series.

“It’s the best game I’ve ever been a part of,” coach Patty Gasso said. “To be on this side and see how this all transpired; right now I can’t remember it, but I will never forget it. That was one of the most amazing comebacks I have ever seen. It’s nervous down on the field; I can’t imagine how people felt watching it.”

After Shipman’s three-run home run over the center-field wall in the top of the 11th inning to score the game’s first runs, it seemed like Ellen Renfroe would have all she needed to put away OU.

But the Sooners did not go away easily. Aided by a dropped ball on a Keilani Ricketts fly ball, they plated one run before Destinee Martinez and Callie Parsons laced back-to-back hits to the wall to tie the game.

After holding the Volunteers scoreless in the top of the 12th, Brianna Turang led off with a double for OU and brought Chamberlain to the plate, who sent one just fair deep over the left-field wall. The victory, which came nearly four hours after the first pitch, put OU just one game away from a national title.

“It was nerve-wracking,” Chamberlain said. “The nerves were there because this is the championship series; it’s supposed to be that good of a game. I felt like I was just missing the entire game. I felt like I was due. On my way to first, I was watching to see if it was foul or fair. As soon as I saw it was fair and saw my teammates going crazy, I really couldn’t believe it.”

It didn’t look like Chamberlain would ever get the chance.

After giving up one out in the top of the 11th, the Volunteers started the rally with a Kat Dotson infield single, just Tennessee’s second hit of the game to that point. Lauren Gibson then singled to center and set the stage for Shipman, who lined one over straight over centerfield to put Tennessee on top and in control until the Sooners’ incredible comeback.

Both pitchers were nearly flawless for 10 innings. Ricketts gave up just one hit in that time and finished with 12 strikeouts. But whether because she tired or because Tennessee began to figure her out, the Volunteers’ at-bats became longer and longer as the game went on until they finally broke through in the 11th.

Renfroe, on the other hand, looked stronger as the game wore on. For most of the postseason, OU had been able to chase pitchers after once or twice through the lineup, but Renfroe went 10 shutout innings before also giving way in the 11th.

The Sooners had a number of chances to end the game in walk-off fashion, and it looked like they were going to do it in the bottom of the ninth inning. Georgia Casey led off the inning with a single — OU’s first hit since the fourth inning — and then an error on Renfroe put runners on first and second with no outs. Ricketts struck out swinging before a wild pitch advanced the runners, but after an intentional walk Renfroe fought back to force a ground ball out at the plate and struck out Destinee Martinez to end the threat.

The Volunteers also wasted several chances of their own. They had a golden opportunity in the top of the fifth. Shipman led off the inning with a walk but was picked off at first base by Shults two pitches later. The mistake was especially devastating because Ricketts walked the next two batters she faced before forcing Tennessee into a 1-4-3 double play to end the threat. They also threatened first in the extra frames. After a rare error by Jessica Vest at shortstop, the Volunteers put runners on first and second with one out. But Ricketts responded with a strikeout and forced a ground ball to end the frame.

“This was a team on a mission,” Gasso said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The two teams will meet at 7 tonight in the second — and possibly deciding — game of the championship series.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • HallofFameBraves.jpg Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre

    Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Media days hot topic, 'Final Four'

    Never have the words “Final Four” been used so often at a football media gathering.

    July 22, 2014

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg King James of Akron returns to his Cleveland Kingdom

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why North Korean cheerleaders may soon descend on the South

    When you think of North Korea, "cheerleaders" may not be the first thing that springs to mind. The Hermit Kingdom is perhaps better known for less savory things like gulag-like labor camps and leadership purges.

    July 9, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg U.S. loss on World Cup pitch was a win back home

    Exuberant fans - even those who couldn't tell you what offsides means - cheered on the U.S. men's national team during the World Cup in Brazil. Are those fans excited enough to keep watching soccer now that the United States has been eliminated?

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Baseball should reinstate Pete Rose

    There's no question that Pete Rose's credentials as a player qualify him for baseball's Hall of Fame. Now, 25 years after he was banished for gambling on games, Charlie Hustle should be allowed back in baseball, presumably to take his place in Cooperstown.

    June 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1065.jpg The end of 'Redskins?' Social media reacts to trademark cancellation

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the trademarks of the Washington Redskins on the basis that it is "disparaging to Native Americans.” Reaction to the decision was, predictably, divided and intense. Here is a sampling from Twitter and YouTube.

    June 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mexican drug lord arrested at World Cup

    Jose Diaz-Barajas, 49, was arrested at Rio de Janeiro's Tom Jobim airport Monday night as he boarded a plane to Fortaleza, where Mexico played Brazil Tuesday, Luiz Cravo Dorea, head of international cooperation at the Federal Police, said. The world soccer governing body, FIFA, had informed police that Diaz- Barajas, who was accompanied by his wife and two children, held tickets, Dorea said.

    June 20, 2014

  • Donald Sterling needs to go away

    Whether it happens due to a quick settlement or a likely longer trial, Clippers owner Donald Sterling just needs to go away.

    June 19, 2014

Poll

Do you agree with the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.