College softball – Oklahoma’s record-breaking bats come alive, force WCWS Game 3

OKLAHOMA CITY — The end was coming, like a late-spring thunderstorm, and Giselle Juarez’s goggles were fogging and Oklahoma’s opportunities were melting.

But here’s the thing about the Sooners: They don’t lose two in a row, and because they have one of the most prolific offenses in NCAA history, they are never out of a game.

But for five innings, this 55-4 Sooners offensive juggernaut, dubbed the most prolific in NCAA history, mustered just one run, watching Florida State dive around the field, scooping up hard-hit grounders.

Florida State picked up where it left off, racing to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Wednesday when Elizabeth Mason cranked a two-run homer off Juarez.

But Juarez settled into a groove after the first, retiring 20 of her last 24 batters, scattering four hits and striking out six.

FSU ace Kathryn Sandercock was able to keep the Sooners’ bats at bay for the next two innings, despite getting smacked in the shin by a line drive.

The sophomore, one of the main reasons FSU is in the finals, said a pitcher who’s facing OU’s offense can either be intimidated by the numbers or stay grounded.

Alo, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, said she knew the ball was out immediately and that she hadn’t circled the bases so fast since her first home run during her freshman year.

Juarez is now 4-0 in the NCAA tournament and has yielded just three runs in 24⅓ innings.

And while the momentum appeared to swing loudly Wednesday evening for the home team, the team that was expected to be in this spot, Alameda was far from inconsolable.

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