NORMAN — The pitches that were catching the corners of home plate for Oklahoma pitcher Kelsey Stevens a night earlier were just missing the edges Saturday.
Stevens still only allowed three hits, but walked in a pair of runs as Tennessee evened its best-of-three NCAA Super Regional series at one game apiece with a 4-0 win Saturday night at Marita Hynes Field.
Stevens wasn’t the only Sooner who was just a little off in a game that was delayed by rain for nearly four hours.
The OU hitters struggled to make solid contact on Tennessee pitcher Ellen Renfroe all night, leading to a constant string of soft popups and easy groundouts.
The deciding game of the Super Regional was originally going to be played late Saturday night, but coaches for both teams were against the idea. Instead, the series will be decided at 2 p.m. Sunday, with the winner advancing to the Women’s College World Series at Oklahoma City’s ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
As of late Saturday night, it had not been determined which ESPN network would broadcast the game.
Tennessee got on the board in the bottom of the second inning with a hard line drive by Megan Geer that barely cleared the left-field wall for a 1-0 lead.
The Volunteers loaded the bases in the fifth inning before Stevens issued back-to-back walks to push two runs in. A fielding error by Georgia Casey brought in a third run to make it 4-0.
Renfroe scattered five hits to improve to 30-7 on the season. The top three hitters in OU’s lineup combined for four hits, with Shelby Pendley accounting for two.
Lightning moved into the area during the top of the second inning. Officials stopped the game at 4:36 p.m., and it didn’t restart until 8:31.
One bit of good news for the Sooners on Saturday was the presence of cleanup hitter Brittany Williams in the lineup.
Williams injured her right arm diving for a fly ball in the seventh inning of OU’s 8-1 win Friday night. She was able to return to the lineup Saturday as the designated player, with Erin Miller taking over in right field.
Miller came up with two big defensive plays in the outfield. She made a sliding catch on a foul ball near the fence early in the game, then threw out a Tennessee runner trying to score after tagging up on a fly ball in the fifth inning.