The No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning in the Women’s College World Series championship series on Wednesday in Oklahoma City and never relented in dismantling the No. 14 Texas Longhorns in a 16-1 victory that included six home runs, a WCWS record.
A win on Thursday or Friday, if necessary, will give the Sooners a second straight national championship and sixth overall.
Oklahoma ace Hope Trautwein was able to get the first two outs without much trouble, but Texas mounted a two-out rally. Center fielder Bella Dayton doubled down the right-field line and advanced to third on a passed ball. Then shortstop Alyssa Washington and catcher Mary Iakopo both drew walks, with Iakopo showing outstanding command of the strike zone and strong patience to lay off close pitches from Trautwein, whose command was off against designated player Courtney Day, too, leading to a third straight walk to score a run. First baseman JJ Smith wasn’t as patient, swinging at the first pitch and flying out to left field.
But one run against this Sooners team isn’t much and Oklahoma quickly took the lead against Texas ace Hailey Dolcini when center fielder Jayda Coleman lined an 0-2 screwball off the plate into the left-center gap for a standup double. Despite the open base, Texas head coach Mike White opted to pitch to designated player Jocelyn Alon and even though Dolcini got her screwball in on Alo, the Sooners superstar was able to clear her hips and get enough of the barrel on it for a two-run home run.
White has said previously that he doesn’t believe in intentional walks. For Alo, though? Her greatness should be enough to force a recalibration by the Longhorns head coach.
A single later, Dolcini was able to record her first out on a well-hit ball to left field, but then made a bad throw to second on a grounder up the middle for an error. The nerves remained for Dolcini, who got another grounder and made a wide throw that kept second baseman Janae Jefferson from turning a double play. Oklahoma made her pay on a pitch over the middle of the plate driven out to right field by first baseman Taylan Snow for a three-run home run, giving the Sooners a 116-6 scoring advantage over opponents in the first inning.
The second home run of the first inning for the Sooners forced White to go to his bullpen, calling on right-hander Sophia Simpson, who hit the first batter she faced, walked the next batter, and then got pulled in favor of right-hander Logan Hulon. Fortunately for Texas, the second pitching change worked out better as Hulon finally got out of the inning without any further damage.
The onslaught from Oklahoma continued in the second inning when Alo doubled to center on a seven-pitch at bat and scored on a single to left field.
Texas threatened in the third when Dayton doubled again down the right-field line and Iakopo was hit by a pitch. But Day was unable to come through with a three-run home run in a third straight game when she hit a fly ball to the warning track in left field.
With one out in the bottom of the third, third baseman Jana Johns hit a changeup down in the zone out over the fence in left center for Oklahoma third home run of the game.
A bunt single and a sacrifice bunt kept the pressure on Hulon, who hit Alo and then gave up a three-run home run to second baseman Tiare Jennings, ending Hulon’s outing.
With no run-rule in place, Texas was left to suffer from the Oklahoma bombardment, which included two unearned runs in the fourth inning and home runs from Alo and Jennings in the fifth.
Two more runs in the sixth inning extended the Oklahoma lead to 16-1.
Thursday’s matchup is at 6:30 p.m. Central on ESPN2.