NORMAN — For seven innings Saturday and one time through the lineup Sunday, Oklahoma looked like it wasn’t going to be able to get its offense going against Tennessee pitcher Ellen.
But with one towering home run off the bat of Lauren Chamberlain, all that changed.
Chamberlain homered twice, and thehit five home runs in all on the way to an 8-2 win in the deciding game of the best-of-3 NCAA super regional Sunday at Field.
The win sends Oklahoma back to theCollege World Series for the fourth consecutive year, with the ’ sights set on defending their 2013 national title.
Chamberlain is returning to form in an injury-plagued season, but just as important to the’ offensive future is the emergence of the hitters in the bottom of the batting order.
Erin Miller, Callie Parsons andHenson, batting 6 , 7 and 8 Sunday, each had two hits, including a home run by Henson.
“Just clutch. That’s the word for it,” Chamberlain said. “The way they can find their way on — and that fires the rest of your lineup up as well. To see them get it done, it makes you want to get them in.”
OU also received homers from Brittany Williams and Georgia Casey to support a solid pitching effort from sophomore Kelsey Stevens.
Stevens allowed only three hits — and just 12 for the three-game series — to put Tennessee away. A week after struggling through three regional tournament victories in which she allowed 16 earned runs, Stevens was a different pitcher against a Tennessee offense that was at the top of the SEC in most major hitting categories.
“This pitcher has gone to another level,” OU coach Pattysaid. “Good enough to go to the World Series. So I’m really proud of her.”
next opponent will be Alabama, the team that beat the in the 2012 WCWS championship series. The and Crimson Tide will meet at a time to be determined in Thursday’s first round at Oklahoma City’s ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
“The hardest part is getting to the World Series,” OU coach Pattysaid. “The super regional is tense. It’s tough. Now I think you’ll see the out there having a blast, because I don’t know that anybody expected us to be there. So now we’re gonna have the freedom to play, and that’s gonna be fun.”