NCAA softball: UCLA Bruins beat OU Sooners, force winner-take-all WCWS semifinal Game 2
Jordy Bahl was back to being her dominant self for a long stretch.
But by the time OU’s sensational freshman jogged out to the circle, the Sooners’ deficit was too much to overcome, then UCLA finally got to even Bahl.
With two chances to win one game Monday, Sooners coach Patty Gasso opted to go with Nicole May in the circle for the first time in this WCWS.
Hope Trautwein had pitched all but one out during OU’s first two games.
May was making her first appearance since May 28, when she threw a complete game in the Sooners’ 7-1 super regional win over Central Florida to earn a spot in the WCWS.
May walked the leadoff hitter and two batters later, Delanie Wisz gave UCLA the lead with a two-run home run to left.
OU got started with a bang on Jayda Coleman’s leadoff home run to left.
The Sooners hit the ball hard repeatedly against Megan Faraimo but couldn’t manage another baserunner against her through the first three innings.
It was only the second time all season a pitcher had retired nine consecutive OU hitters in a game. The first was Texas’ Hailey Dolcini in Saturday’s Sooners win over the Longhorns.
OU’s 2-1 deficit after one was the first time the Sooners had trailed after one inning this season and just the 11th game in which they’d trailed at all.
Twice, OU had allowed a run in the top of the first before taking the lead in the bottom of the inning.
The Sooners’ deficit grew in the third, when May surrendered a leadoff hit to Briana Perez, walked Wisz and then gave up a towering three-run home run to center by Maya Brady to put the Bruins ahead 5-1.
It was OU’s biggest deficit since Florida State’s 8-4 win in the opening game of last season’s championship series.
After Brady’s home run, Bahl came on for the Sooners and immediately calmed down the Bruins’ bats.
UCLA didn’t record another hit until Savannah Pola’s leadoff single in the sixth.
Even so, Bahl was rolling well into the seventh, retiring the first two hitters before Wisz drew a walk and Brady followed with another home run, this one a two-run shot to left.
Bahl then exited, having thrown 72 pitches.
The Bruins’ seven runs were the most scored against the Sooners in a seven-inning (or fewer) game this season.
OU beat Tennessee 9-8 in 10 innings in late February, with the Volunteers scoring six runs in the first six innings.
The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Sooners (56-3).