OKLAHOMA CITY – The Tennessee softball team will try to force a Game 3 of the Women’s College World Series Championship Series tonight when the Lady Vols play Oklahoma in Game 2 at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Monday’s Game 1 was one for the ages as the Lady Vols (52-11), fell to the Sooners (56-4), 5-3, in 12 innings. Last night’s game was the longest game in UT history and the longest Championship Series game since 1984 when UCLA beat Texas A&M, 1-0, in 13 innings to win the title.
Game 1 featured two outstanding pitching performances by Tennessee’s Ellen Renfroe (19-5) and Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts (35-1). Renfroe fanned 13 batters over 11 frames, keeping the potent OU offense off the scoreboard through the first 10 frames. Ricketts struck out 13 over 12 innings and held Tennessee scoreless through 10 innings before Madison Shipman hit a three-run homer to center field in the top of the 11th. OU answered with Brittany Williams’ RBI double, Destinee Martinez’s RBI triple and Callie Parsons’ RBI double in the bottom of the 11th to tie the game at 3-3. Lauren Chamberlain’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th gave Oklahoma the win.
Oklahoma is hitting .305 as a team in four WCWS games and Ricketts has thrown every inning for the Sooners, going 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 39 strikeouts over 31.0 innings pitched. She has held opposing hitters to a .105 batting average over those four games. Ricketts also leads the Sooners with a .462 batting average (6-for-13) in the WCWS. Lauren Chamberlain has smashed three homers, one double and one triple while batting .353 (6-for-17) in the World Series.
Lauren Gibson has led the Lady Vols with a .417 batting average (5-for-12) in the WCWS. She also has one homer, one double and two RBIs. Tory Lewis and Hannah Akamine are each batting .333 (4-for-12). Ellen Renfroe and Ivy Renfroe have combined for a 1.75 team ERA and 39 strikeouts in 32.0 innings. Ellen Renfroe has thrown the majority of the innings for UT, striking out 33 over 27.1 frames and limiting opposing hitters to a .188 batting average. Ivy Renfroe earned the win over Texas, throwing 4.2 scoreless innings with six strikeouts.
If Tennessee forces Game 3, it will be on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET on ESPN.