Lauren Chamberlain just needed a pitch somewhere close to the plate.
Oklahoma's power hitter turned on an inside pitch in the bottom of the 12th inning and launched it sky-high and just far enough to clear the 200-foot fence for the game-winning home run for a 5-3 victory over Tennessee to put the Sooners up 1-0 in the best-of-3 championship series of the Women's College World Series.
The game-winning shot wasn't much of a surprise, considering it was Chamberlain's nation-leading 30th home run of the year.
The surprise was that OU was still playing in the 12th inning Monday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Tennessee's Madison Shipman had ripped a rocket three-run homer over the center field fence in the top of the 11th, which looked to be the victory blow in what had been a scoreless duel of great pitchers.
OU got an RBI double by Brittany Williams. Then after a groundout put the Sooners an out away from defeat, Destinee Martinez tripled over the head of Tennessee center fielder Tory Lewis, scoring pinch-runner Erica Sampson. And Callie Parsons followed with a double to left-center field, scoring Martinez to tie the game and force a 12th inning.
Parsons was thrown out when coach Patty Gasso waved her around, trying to stretch the hit into a triple. But that just set up Chamberlain's dramatic blast.
OU pitcher Keilani Ricketts had only allowed one hit through 10 innings, but gave up four in the 11th. Yet she closed the door quickly in the 12th, finishing with 13 strikeouts to earn her 35th win of the season.
Ellen Renfroe had been equally spectacular, but gave up five runs in the final inning-plus. She struck out 11.
Oklahoma will try to claim its first WCWS championship since 2000 when the two teams meet in Game 2 at 7 Tuesday night.