The Sooners responded with an eight-run bottom of the second that effectively crushed Bryant’s chance at an upset. Second baseman Georgia Casey’s RBI single started the Sooners’ onslaught, followed immediately by junior third baseman Shelby Pendley’s three-run home run, her 14th of the season.
With a comfortable lead in the third inning, Stevens struck out two batters and forced a flyout.
“We felt pretty confident,” said senior Brittany Williams. “We knew we had Kelsey’s back all the way. She did her job on the mound. We did our jobs with the bats.”
The Sooners, seeking their fourth-straight Women’s College World Series appearance, haven’t trailed in an NCAA Regional contest since 2011.
Oklahoma’s victory is particularly impressive considering it was again without superstar Lauren Chamberlain, who sat out Friday’s game with a knee injury.
Chamberlain also missed 23 games during the season with a back injury.
“I think it’s extremely helpful that we’ve learned how to play without her,” Gasso said. “I think if this just happened, there might be a whole different feeling.”
Chamberlain warmed up with the team before the game, and Gasso said she’s “more than hopeful” that the junior slugger will return to the lineup Saturday.
“You can probably expect to see her playing tomorrow,” Gasso added.