OKLAHOMA CITY — Auburn rallied from a seven-run, second-inning deficit and then stunned Oklahoma 11-7 in eight innings Tuesday night to force a third, winner-take-all game in the Women’s College World Series championship series.
The teams will meet again at 7 p.m. (CT) Wednesday for the softball national title after Auburn senior Emily Carosone’s eighth-inning grand slam snapped Oklahoma’s school-record 31-game winning streak and completed a rally few outside the Tigers’ dugout could have seen coming.
Oklahoma opened the scoring with one run in the top of the first inning, then piled on six more in the top of the second to take a 7-0 lead when Auburn came to bat in the bottom of the second.
But Auburn got itself right back in the game with five runs in their half of the second — highlighted by Whitney Jordan’s three-run homer — and then added two more runs on Kasey Cooper’s two-run shot in the fifth.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s offense, which was red-hot in the second inning, went completely cold.
The Sooners didn’t score again after the second inning, although they very nearly did when freshman Shay Knighten launched a pitch deep into left field in the top of the sixth inning.
But Auburn left fielder Tiffany Howard reached over the fence and robbed Knighten of a two-run bomb, keeping the score tied at 7.
In the bottom of the eighth, Auburn loaded the bases before Carosone launched the first pitch she saw into the right-center field stands, sending War Eagle Nation into a frenzy.
For the first time this postseason, Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso did not start star pitcher Paige Parker. Instead, senior Kelsey Stevens earned the nod and was knocked out of the game during the second inning.
OU freshman Jayden Chestnut pitched the rest of the game.
Oklahoma won Game One of the WCWS championship series Monday night and could have clinched the championship with a win Tuesday.
Auburn is playing in its first-ever WCWS championship series.