Oklahoma beats Louisiana-Lafayette 3-1
MAY 31, 2014 5:51p ET
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Kelsey Stevens allowed six hits, Brittany Williams hit a two-run first-inning double and defending NCAA softball champion Oklahoma beat Louisiana-Lafayette 3-1 on Saturday in an elimination game in the Women's College World Series.
Callie Parsons added an inside-the-park home run in the sixth inning for Oklahoma (51-12), which advanced to play top-seeded Oregon in another elimination game Saturday night.
Louisiana-Lafayette (49-10-1) had beaten the Sooners in two of three games during a regular-season series but the Ragin' Cajuns couldn't come up with the key hit Saturday against Stevens (38-9), stranding 11 baserunners and failing to score after loading the bases with one out in the third inning. Lexie Elkins hit a solo homer in the seventh for their only run.
''That was a fight,'' Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said. ''That was an absolute battle from start to finish. I am so extremely proud of Kelsey Stevens and the fight she put in today to hold them to six hits (and) finding ways to get out of innings. She had timely strikeouts. They had opportunities numerous times and I'm really proud of the way Kelsey found a way to get of it.''
In the first inning, Lauren Chamberlain reached on an error for the Sooners and Shelby Pendley walked before Williams' double to center field off Louisiana-Lafayette starter Christina Hamilton (29-4).
Hamilton, who became as famous in recent days for wearing black-rimmed glasses without lenses as for her pitching, allowed only three hits the rest of the way.
Parsons' home run was her first of the season. She hit a slicing line drive that landed just inside the left-field line and eluded left fielder Shelbi Redfearn, who tried to make a sliding catch. The ball rolled
''This is a game of momentum,'' Parsons said. ''Going into the at-bat, with two outs, I knew I had to do something to help us gain back that momentum going into the seventh so I took my hacks.''
Elkins led off the seventh with her 24th homer of the season, over the right-center field fence. Samantha Walsh followed with a single to left field but Stevens retired Shellie Landry on an infield popup and Redfearn on a groundout. Stevens now is tied for first in NCAA Division I pitching wins this season.
The Ragin' Cajuns entered the WCWS hitting .307 but scored only two runs in their two games - both on Elkins home runs.
''We didn't play our best softball the last couple of times,'' Louisiana-Lafayette coach Michael Lotief said. ''I'm sure it had something to do with the venue, sure it had something to do with the opponents, sure it had something to do with their crazy coach, but our kids made us proud. It's been a magical, phenomenal year.''