Tuesday, June 06, 2017

WCWS Finals Game 2 (2017)

Getting ready for Game 2 between Florida and Oklahoma... Last night, OU played the wild-card with its starting pitcher, opting for usual closer Paige Lowary... Tonight, Florida's making an even bolder move, starting Aleshia Ocasio, who has pitched only five innings (herehere, and here) since April 30 (I misheard what the ESPN announcers initially said, leading me to think Ocasio had pitched very few innings all season; my apologies). In her first two years at UF (2015 and 2016), Ocasio pitched 136 and 146.1 innings, with ERA's of 2.01 and 0.77, respectively. However, with the emergence of Kelly Barnhill and Delanie Gourley in the circle for Florida, Ocasio has been playing mostly at third base this season...  The Sooners are the home team tonight...

TOP 1 -- Lead-off walk to Amanda Lorenz... Bunted to second... Pop-up for second out... Another walk... Soft liner to first, Shay Knighten fields on a bounce and steps on bag for third out...

BOTTOM 1 -- Nicole Mendes with lead-off homer off of Ocasio... 1-0 Sooners... Hard single to right... Force at second, and ground-out, give Sooners runner at second with two out... Infield interference by OU runner for third out...

TOP 2 -- Sophia Reynoso goes deep to tie game for Florida, 1-1... After two retired, Justine McLean doubles on flare just beyond third base... Lorenz up... ...and she walks... Nicole DeWitt singles to load bases... Ocasio coming up... With 3-2 count, Ocasio nails hard single to right, just eluding Knighten's mitt; 2-1 Florida, bases still loaded... OU takes out starting pitcher Paige Parker and, like Florida, brings in a fresh arm in Mariah Lopez... HBP to Kayli Kvistad, 3-1 Gators... Janell Wheaton with long foul-out down left-field line, to end inning...

BOTTOM 2 -- One-out single for Macey Hatfield... Followed by walk... Kelsey Arnold coming up for OU... Chopper in front of home loads bases, as Gators can't do anything with it... Mendes coming up... Gourley replacing Ocasio in the circle (Ocasio moves over to third base)... K for second out... Caleigh Clifton walks on 3-2 count, cutting Florida lead to 3-2... Knighten doubles to wall in right-center, clearing bases and making it 5-3 Sooners... Fale Aviu with infield single to third, which Ocasio can barely get glove on... Runners on the corners... With Pendley at bat, Aviu takes second as Gators not paying close attention on throw from catcher back to pitcher... Pendley flies out to right, ending inning...

TOP 3 -- Chelsea Herndon with two-out solo shot to center to cut Sooners' lead to 5-4... Nothing further for Gators...

BOTTOM 3 -- Sooners go quietly...

TOP 4 -- Deep fly-outs for first two Gator outs... K to close out the half-inning...

BOTTOM 4 -- Two-out single on flare to right by Caleigh Clifton... Knighten coming up... Knighten is human, after all, as she strikes out...

TOP 5 -- Another pitching shocker: Mendes, with only 17.2 innings pitched on the season, takes the circle for OU... Pop-up for first out... Grounder to third for second out... And grounder to third to end half-inning...

BOTTOM 5 -- One-out single to left by Pendley for OU... Kvistad snares low liner in the air at first, steps on bag for double play to end inning...

TOP 6 -- Line single to left by Florida's Jordan Roberts leads things off... OU goes to Paige Lowary to pitch... Ground-out on ball between first and second allows runner to get to second... Lowary still maintaining  mph velocities in the low 70s, despite heavy pitching in Game 1 (10.1 innings, 139 pitches)... Flare to left caught, as outfielder playing very shallow... Lorenz up with two outs... Big K for Lowary...

BOTTOM 6 -- An error puts one on, and she steals second, but no scoring...

TOP 7 -- Florida goes quietly (K, K, ground-out) and OU wins the Women's College World Series...

With nine runs scored in first two-and-one-half innings tonight (in the form of a 5-4 Sooner lead) and with a bunch of tired pitching arms from last night's 17-inning marathon, one might have expected the scoring to continue. But there were no runs scored in the final four innings tonight... OU now has won three of the last five WCWS titles (2013, 2016, and 2017), with Florida capturing the other two (2014 and 2015)...

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