Sooner Softball Advances to Super Regional

Sooner Softball Advances to Super Regional

NORMAN, Okla.-- After needing to come-from-behind Saturday, OU scored first and added another run to shutout Texas A&M, 2-0, Sunday to capture the NCAA Softball Regional and advance to the Super Regional next weekend. The Sooners will play Alabama in the Super Regional next weekend in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  It will be the eighth time Alabama has hosted a Super Regional and the 11th consecutive time the Crimson Tide has advanced to the Super Regional. The Tide is the only team to play in every Super Regional since they were started in 2005. Alabama won easily against Washington, 11-1, Sunday and is now 45-12 for the year.

The Sooners enter the Super Regional 48-7 and have won their last eight games in a row, including three in a row to capture their sixth Regional title in a row and 14th overall over the weekend.

OU freshman pitcher Paige Parker (27-5), who allowed a career high five earned runs Saturday, including three homers, came back Sunday a different pitcher and allowed the Aggies only three hits while she fanned seven and walked three. She even drove in  the first OU run in the first inning with a two-out single up the middle, scoring Erin Miller, who won Saturday's game with a walkoff two-run homer. Parker had two hits in four trips for the Sooners with Shelby Pendley also two-for-four. Second baseman Georgia Casey had a perfect afternoon for the Sooners (three-for-three).

The other OU run came in the sixth inning off losing pitcher Rachel Fox (23-14), who allowed 10 hits.  Lauren Chamberlain singled up the middle in the sixth with two outs, scoring catcher Whitney Ellis, who had singled to get on base and advanced to second on a ground out. Texas A&M stranded seven runners while OU left 11 on base. Twice the Aggies got a runner to third, but were unable to get the hit they needed to bring a runner across and finished the year 40-20 in losing to OU for the sixth consecutive time in the last three years in NCAA Championship play.

Although it lost twice to Oklahoma over the weekend, Texas A&M was anything but an easy opponent for the Sooners. Both games were hard-fought battles to the end.

A very intense and hard fought game,” Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said. “I loved the way Paige (Parker) came out and fixed a few things and was the pitcher that she has been over the past few months. When we needed her the most we were there.

“With our offense, we had 10 hits today, but we weren't getting timely hits. Paige helped us stay in the game to get to that point. I think that the one big play was Kelsey Arnold on the diving catch on the line drive. It was really a spark to this team.”

Freshman Paige Parker got the job done in the circle, dominating the Aggies hitters. She gave up just three hits while striking out seven to improve her record to 27-5 on the season. One game after giving up a season-high five runs, she held Texas A&M (40-20) scoreless for her ninth shutout of the season.

“Just coming out and making some adjustments from yesterday,” Parker said when asked what adjustments she made from Saturday.

“Just attacking hitters and competing to get them out any way that I can. Also being more aggressive in the way that I face hitters. I wasn't pitching as aggressively as I had been. I just need to attack hitters and got after them more aggressively.”