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Women's College World Series: Sooners advance to WCWS championship finals with 7-3 victory over Alabama

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Junior center fielder Nicole Mendes cheers as she stands on second base in the first game against Alabama June 1.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Sooners earned a spot in the Women's College World Series championship and avoided elimination with a 7-3 win over Alabama on Sunday night.

In the second game the two teams played against each other in the day, the Sooners struck early with an RBI double from senior Caleigh Clifton to score senior Sydney Romero in the top of the first. After going quiet for much of the middle portion of the game, the Sooners' offense came alive again in the fifth inning with sophomore Jocelyn Alo hitting a monster 2-run home run to extend the lead to 4-1, and junior Nicole Mendes and freshman Grace Lyons hit home runs of their own in the sixth inning.

Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso went with junior Giselle Juarez to start in the circle, who had pitched 20 of the Sooners' 21 WCWS innings prior to Sunday night's game, including the entirety of the team's first game on Sunday against Alabama. But after giving up a solo home run to Alabama's Reagan Dykes in the second inning, Gasso brought in junior Mariah Lopez.

Lopez performed well in her first appearance in the 2019 WCWS. She held the Crimson Tide scoreless in her first four innings pitched before giving up a two-run homer to Skylar Wallace in the sixth. She finished the day with 4.1 innings pitched, four hits allowed and three strikeouts. Junior Shannon Saile closed out in the final inning with zero hits allowed and one strikeout.

With the win, the Sooners advance to a best-of-three series in WCWS Championship Finals against UCLA. Game one of the series will be at 6:30 p.m. CT on Monday, June 3, at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.

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