OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma freshman Shay Knighten blasted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, lifting the No. 3 Sooners to a 3-0 victory over sixth-seeded Alabama in the Women’s College World Series on Friday.
For the Crimson Tide, Friday’s loss was a heartbreaking deja vu experience. A Knighten walk-off home run also beat Alabama just two months ago.
The latest Oklahoma-Alabama clash actually began Thursday evening, but was suspended due to weather in the middle of the second inning and resumed 24 hours later.
The game was scoreless through seven innings, with Alabama’s Alexis Osorio and Oklahoma’s Paige Parker each keeping the opposing offense at bay, although both teams certainly had their opportunities.
Alabama stranded six runners on base during the game, including two in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Andrea Hawkins slapped a two-out double down the right-field line and Sydney Booker followed that by drawing a walk.
But a batter later, Parker struck out Kallie Case, preserving her shutout.
The bottom of the eighth inning opened with OU’s Kelsey Arnold drawing a walk. The Sooners’ next batter, Erin Miller, lined out to third base, but an errant throw resulted in Arnold advancing to second.
OU’s Caleigh Clifton then drew a walk, setting up Knighten’s heroics.
When the Crimson Tide and Sooners met earlier this season — on March 19 in Fullerton, Calif. — the game was eerily similar.
Osorio and Parker each pitched shutouts until the bottom of the seventh inning, when the Sooner bats got going. Sierra Romero singled up the middle to open the inning and two batters later, Knighten’s two-run homer ended the game.
With the loss, Alabama drops into the WCWS losers’ bracket, where it will meet either LSU or Michigan at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Those two teams played later Friday.