June 6, 2022
The World Series semifinal round started off with a bang in the UCLA vs Oklahoma game. UCLA needed a win to keep their championship dreams alive and that's exactly what they did with a 7-3 win over the defending champions. The first inning started off with a UCLA home run by Delanie Wisz to give her team a two point lead. Jayda Coleman quickly retaliated in the bottom of the first inning with a one point home run of her own to bring Oklahoma onto the scoreboard. The second inning went by quickly and scoreless to bring the teams into the third, Maya Brady of UCLA hit a home run out to center field with two players on base to bring her team up to a safe 5-1 lead. Oklahoma was determined to close the 5-1 gap and hit another home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to make the score 5-3. The 5-3 score stuck until the seventh inning when Maya Brady hit another home run to give UCLA a four point lead over Oklahoma. The game ended in a 7-3 win for UCLA forcing the teams to play another winner takes all elimination game (this is because UCLA came from the loser bracket). This loss to UCLA was only the third loss of the season for Oklahoma bringing them to a 57-3 record.
Defending champions, Oklahoma, had something to prove in this winner takes all elimination game. The team came swinging when Tiare Jennings hit a three point home run in the first inning to give them a quick lead in the game. The 3-0 lead only got larger in the second inning when Jocelyn Alo hit another three run homer to bring Oklahoma to a six point lead. The fourth inning was considerably quiet for Oklahoma with only one run scored due to an error by UCLA. The fifth inning is when Oklahoma absolutely dominated and secured their spot in the championship by scoring eight runs to bring the lead up to 15 points. The inning started off with hits by various players to bring in four runs before Jocelyn Alo hit an amazing grand slam to secure another four runs bringing Oklahoma to victory with a total of 15 points. Oklahoma is no stranger to big leads that end games early, this was the teams 40th run rule game of the season.
The second round of semifinals games were just as intense as the first with Texas needing to beat Oklahoma State to get out of the loser bracket and into the running for a championship win. This game went 0-0 for the first inning and the start of the second until Courtney Day of Texas hit a home run to bring them three points and the lead. The momentum for Texas didn’t stop there, freshman Mia Scott made it to first base off a bunt, stole second, then ran home during a throwing error by Oklahoma State after a hit by Bella Dayton. Dayton then scored for herself off a hit by teammate, Mary Iakopo. A comfortable 5 point lead gave Texas the win to force a second winner takes all game.
After pitching a no run game for Texas, Estelle Czech was started again in game two but quickly gave up one run in the first inning and two more during the second with an Oklahoma State home run by Kiley Naomi. Senior pitcher, Hailey Dolcini, was brought onto the mound for Texas to give Estelle Czech a break after pitching nine innings for the team. Oklahoma took the third inning by storm with another home run by Karli Petty to give a comfortable five point lead to her team. Texas wasn’t going down without a fight and put up three points in the top of the fourth inning to put them on the board and make it a 5-3 game with a home run by Courtney Day. Oklahoma quickly gave up the lead in the fifth inning with a group of errors causing Texas to be able to get three runs and take the lead making the score 5-6 in favor of Texas.
The Texas Longhorns were able to hold Oklahoma State off and secure the win to send them packing. Texas has now become the first unseeded team to make it into the World Series final. Texas will face the defending champions, Oklahoma, in a three game series starting on Wednesday, June 8, at 8:30pm. Game two will follow on Thursday, June 9, at 7:30pm and game three will be on Friday, June 10 at 8:30pm if necessary.