OU softball: Sooners return to the 'Promised Land'

Speaking about what it means to be back at the Women’s College World Series, OU slugger Lauren Chamberlain looked down at her arm and laughed. “I’m getting goosebumps,” she said. “I’m really excited to be back. It’s cool. It’s just a special place.”
by Scott Wright Published: May 27, 2014
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photo - Oklahoma's Javen Henson, facing, celebrates her home run with another home run hitter, Lauren Chamberlain as the University of Oklahoma Sooner (OU) softball team plays Tennessee in game three of the NCAA super regional at Marita Hynes Field on May 25, 2014 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Javen Henson, facing, celebrates her home run with another home run hitter, Lauren Chamberlain as the University of Oklahoma Sooner (OU) softball team plays Tennessee in game three of the NCAA super regional at Marita Hynes Field on May 25, 2014 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Oklahoma softball star Lauren Chamberlain calls it the Promised Land.

Speaking about what it means to be back at the Women’s College World Series, Chamberlain looked down at her arm and laughed.

“I’m getting goosebumps,” she said. “I’m really excited to be back. It’s cool.

“It’s just a special place.”

Having played for the national title in 2012, then winning it in 2013, it might seem like a foregone thought that the Sooners would be back in the tournament at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium this week, where they’ll take on Alabama at 8:30 p.m. in Thursday’s first round.

But back in March, that wasn’t the case. In fact, the Sooners’ WCWS potential was closer to long shot than sure thing.

“We were ranked 23rd in the nation,” OU coach Patty Gasso said. “We were living in that place early on, in February and March.

“To see this team work so hard to get to the place we are now, as one of the final eight with a chance to defend our title, is an incredible feat. I really had an emotional moment with this team because of what I saw them do. It was unbelievable.”

Since their championship celebration at Hall of Fame Stadium last spring, the Sooners have had their share of adversity. First, Gasso had to replace one of the best college pitchers of all time in Keilani Ricketts.

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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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