The official name for the home of the Women’s College World Series just got longer.
OGE Energy announced Thursday it has entered a 20-year naming rights agreement with the Oklahoma City All Sports Association and USA Softball for rights to the field at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
As of Thursday, the field’s official name is OGE Energy Field at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. This announcement comes after the NCAA agreed to keep the WCWS in Oklahoma City through 2020 and likely through 2035.
“On behalf of the entire ASA/USA Softball community, we want to thank OGE for stepping up to the plate to support our venue and all levels of softball played here,” Craig Cress, ASA/USA Softball Executive Director, said in a release. “The current and future improvements at the facility are due to OGE’s support, the City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City All Sports, along with several other community entities and leaders. The vision of all parties for the future of our sport is exceptional.”
Sean Trauschke, OGE Energy President and CFO, threw out the first pitch at Thursday’s 6 p.m. game between Louisiana-Lafayette and Kentucky.
FLORIDA’S HERNDON HITS GRAND SLAM OFF FORMER TEAMMATE
With Florida leading Baylor 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth Thursday, the Gators’ Chelsea Herndon came on to pinch hit with the bases loaded against a familiar face.
Herndon’s former Hebron (Texas) High School teammate Heather Stearns, a sophomore for Baylor, had come on in relief of starter Whitney Canion an inning earlier.
The freshman Herndon got the better of Stearns, blasting a grand slam to left center and capping Florida’s 11-0 five-inning victory.
“I’ve faced her quite a lot in practice and stuff (in high school), but I wasn’t going to let that get to me,” Herndon said. “(The pitch) was down the middle and something looking good. Definitely what I was looking for.”
Herndon, who said she has kept in touch with Stearns since high school, became only the second true freshman to hit a grand slam at the WCWS.
ERRORS PUT BAYLOR IN EARLY HOLE
Baylor fell behind Florida early thanks to some crucial defensive mistakes.
Two errors and a passed ball in the first inning helped the Gators score three unearned runs and the Bears never recovered, falling 11-0 in five innings.
“I felt like we were sucker punched quick, and we didn’t respond,” Baylor coach Glenn Moore said. “It was more of what we did to ourselves than it was what Florida did to us. I thought they played a great game and we played maybe the worst game that I’ve been a part of coaching in four or five years.