NORMAN — Oklahoma first baseman Lauren Chamberlain scooped up the ground ball and tagged Arizona's Karissa Buchanan for the final out Saturday, securing the Sooners' second straight trip to the Women's College World Series.
The celebration that followed was joyful, but relatively low-key and, according to the players themselves, unplanned.
“It just happened,” Chamberlain said when asked if the team had decided beforehand to be tame following a victory.
“Last year ... our goal was to get to the World Series,” said junior pitcher Keilani Ricketts. “When we made it, we were celebrating and we didn't know what to do once we got to the World Series. This year, we made our goal bigger ... I think we're ready to keep it going in the World Series this year.”
The Sooners scored five first-inning runs and rolled to a 7-1 Game 2 win and Super Regional sweep over Arizona.
“I think we're peaking,” said catcher Jessica Shults. “We've been saying all year ... just marking off checkmarks. First was winning Big 12, second was winning regionals, third was winning Super Regionals and now our next mission is the World Series.”
OU opened the scoring Saturday with Ricketts' RBI single to left-center, which brought home leadoff batter Georgia Casey.
The Sooners' next two runs came when Arizona pitcher Kenzie Fowler walked Shults with the bases loaded, and then hit Erica Sampson with a pitch to give OU another free run.
When Katie Norris' ground ball went through the legs of Wildcats third baseman Brigette Del Ponte, two more runs scored before the first half-inning was complete.