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Sooners power past Seminoles to set up Game 3 of champ. series with 6-2 win

Oklahoma's Jana Johns (20) celebrates as she runs past Florida State's Josie Muffley, right, on...
Oklahoma's Jana Johns (20) celebrates as she runs past Florida State's Josie Muffley, right, on a home run during the third inning of in the second game of the NCAA Women's College World Series softball championship series Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)(Sue Ogrocki | AP)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 9:42 PM EDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (WCTV) - The Oklahoma Sooners have forced a decisive Game 3 in the Women’s College World Series Championship Game after defeating the Florida State Seminoles, 6-2, Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.

For just the sixth time in Women’s College World Series history, the Championship Game will move to a Game 3. OU won the last Game 3, 2-1, over Auburn in 2016.

Trailing 2-1 after five innings, the Oklahoma offense exploded for five runs in the top of the sixth inning, taking their first lead of the Championship Series.

The inning started with Tiare Jennings, who reached after a throwing error by FSU shortstop Josie Muffley, setting the table for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Jocelyn Alo, who hit a two-run home run to put the Sooners ahead, 3-2.

The home run was the 159th of the season for the Sooners, giving them the all-time record for most home runs hit by a team in the season in Division I softball, surpassing the 2010 Rainbow Wahine.

Kinzie Hansen followed the home run by reaching on an infield single and was followed by a single by Nicole Mendes.

Mackenzie Donihoo plated Hansen with an RBI single past a diving Muffley to extend the OU lead to 4-2, and spelled the end of the day for Kathryn Sandercock (L, 27-4).

In came Caylan Arnold in relief, who allowed a single to Jayda Coleman to score Mendes, giving the Sooners a 5-2 lead.

Arnold then eased into the game, inducing a sacrifice, a pop up in foul territory and a flyout to right field to end the inning with the bases loaded.

Oklahoma added one more run in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Mendes to plate Alo, who led the inning off with a single into right field, to push the Sooner advantage to 6-2.

FSU was retired in order in the bottom of the seventh inning, with Sooners starter G Juarez (W, 22-1) striking out Devyn Flaherty and Kia LoPreste in the frame to seal the win.

Juarez retired 20 of the final 24 hitter she faced. She finished the game scattering just four hits, allowing two earned runs, walked three and struck out six in the complete game effort.

For the fifth consecutive game, it was the Seminoles who struck first with the second first-inning home run of the World Series off the bat of Elizabeth Mason, who ripped a 3-1 pitch over the left-centerfield fence to give the Seminoles a 2-0 lead.

Sydney Sherrill set the able for Mason’s home run by reaching on an infield single that pulled OU first basewoman Taylon Snow down the first-base line and off the bag. Sherrill was able to avoid the tag attempt to reach base safely.

Oklahoma got a run back in the top of the third inning on a leadoff home run from Jana Johns to cut the Seminole lead to 2-1.

After that home run, Sandercock was able to bounce back quickly, retiring nine of the next 10 batters she faced before the four-run sixth inning by OU.

The Seminole starter went five-plus innings, leaving in the sixth without recording an out, and surrendered seven hits, five runs (four earned) while walking one and striking out two.

Florida State, offensively, mustered just two hits after Mason’s long ball: A leadoff single from Cassidy Davis in the fourth and an infield slap from Anna Shelnutt in the bottom of the fifth, also a leadoff hit.

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