OKLAHOMA CITY – Jocelyn Alo knew her bang was gone as soon as she made contact.
The Oklahoma slugger landed a hit in the sixth inning, and the Sooners beat Florida State 6-2 on Wednesday night to force a decisive third game for the Women’s College World Series title.
It was Alo’s 33rd home run of the season. The collegiate player of the year in the United States added to her academic record. But this one was different.
“I knew it was over,” Alo said. “And I think the last time I did the basics was probably my first year, my very first home run.”
The last match will be played on Thursday afternoon. Oklahoma (55-4) is aiming for its fifth national championship. Florida State (49-12-1) is attempting its second title in four years.
Alo sent Kathryn Sandercock’s 2-0 pitch over the fence to the center-right, giving the Sooners a 3-2 lead. Its explosion ignited the crowd of 12,115 fans, mostly Sooners, at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium, which is about 25 miles from the Oklahoma campus.
The Tour gave the Sooners the Division I one-season record for home runs at 159, beating the Hawaii mark established in 2010.
Giselle Juarez pitched a full game for Oklahoma. She allowed two runs in the first inning, then pitched six clean innings and allowed just two hits for the rest of the course.
“My hitters came up to me and they said, ‘We have you, we support you,’ Juarez said.“ And I think for me it was about keeping them in this game. They supported me. They will always support me. ”
Juarez improved to 4-0 in the tournament and allowed just three earned runs in 24 innings. Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso hasn’t said if Juarez will start Game 3.
“Everything is on the table right now,” Gasso said. “You have to do everything you can to find a way to win this. So whatever we have to do – and I know she will do whatever she has to do too.”
Mackenzie Donihoo and Kinzie Hansen each added two hits for Oklahoma.
Sandercock, who had dominated the World Series, started and allowed four earned runs and seven hits in five innings for the Seminoles, who won the best-of-three game opener 8-4 on Tuesday.
“We knew it was going to be aerial combat,” said Sandercock. We knew they were a great team. We knew they were going to make adjustments in the box. So that’s what we have. This is what we have seen. And that’s why it’s a series of three games. You have to beat us twice or we have to beat them twice. So we are ready to deal with it tomorrow. ”
Elizabeth Mason of Florida State hit a two-run homerun in the first, giving the Seminoles an early lead.
Jana Johns of Oklahoma hit left field in the third, a shot that hit the slow 300-foot fence on a rebound.
Tiare Jennings of Oklahoma hit baseline on a sixth pitch error before the Alo Homer, which highlighted a four-run explosion in the inning.
“It was definitely Jocelyn Alo who created this energy, and everyone just started supporting it,” Gasso said.
Mason declared that the Seminoles were ready to move on.
“Any game, whether won or lost, is just a mirror game,” she said. “You put it behind you. It doesn’t affect the next game. We knew they were going to come out swinging today. We knew it would be a different team today. So we will be a different team tomorrow. ”