OKLAHOMA CITY – It doesn’t happen often, but Oklahoma showed they know how to bounce back from a loss.
Every time the top-ranked Sooners have lost this season — just three times in all — they’ve beaten their next opponent so the game has ended early via the NCAA’s run rule.
Such was the case in the Women’s College World Series semi-final on Monday after Oklahoma suffered only its third loss of the season – a 7-3 loss to UCLA which staged a playoff game later in the season. ‘afternoon.
Less than three hours later, Jocelyn Alo hit a pair of homers, Hope Trautwein delivered a masterful performance in the pitching circle and the Sooners tore down the Bruins 15-0 in five innings to advance to the Finals.
It was the biggest win by any team in WCWS history and the team’s 40th win of the season, twice as many as the team closest to Division I.
Alo said she saw no panic from her teammates in the locker room after the loss and only heard positive affirmations from coach Patty Gasso and the rest of the staff.
“She’s not going to yell at us,” Alo said of Gasso. “I don’t see the point of that.” If anything, Alo said, the team just needed to reset between games.
“I came into this match with all the confidence that we came out with the dubbing,” Alo said. “Nobody beats the Sooners twice. I think we really stuck to our game plan and kind of focused on what we needed to do.”
Oklahoma, which improved to 57-3, will face winner Oklahoma State-Texas on Wednesday.
The Cowgirls and Longhorns were the only two teams to beat the Sooners this season heading into Monday.
In April, Oklahoma followed up its first loss of the season against Texas with a 10-0 victory over North Texas.
Last month at NCAA Regionals, the Sooners rebounded from a loss to Oklahoma State by beating Prairie View A&M 14-0.
Gasso was surprised when told at a press conference that her team was 3-0 with a combined score of 39-0 in games after a loss.
She said she felt the team wanted to show pitcher Nicole May, who lost in Game 1 on Monday, “We got you.”
“They’re very proud and they really believe no one can beat them in a row – or twice,” Gasso said. “That’s how they think. So they came out here very calm, very cool. … They were very confident.”
Alo, who set the career home run record earlier this season, hit two more homers against UCLA, including a homerun shot in the fifth inning. His seven RBI tied a WCWS single-game record.
Alo helped lead in an eighth inning when she scored a single and Jayda Coleman scored on a fielding error.
Trautwein didn’t need as much support for the race as she had. The North Texas transfer allowed just two hits and struck out six in an all-game performance.
Gasso said the chance to see Trautwein step up — and for freshman sensation Jordy Bahl to get 4⅔ innings of work in Game 1 after missing time last month with a forearm injury — could to be a silver lining to come out of the loss.
“As strange as it may seem, Game 2 was a blessing for us because of that – seeing Hope in that environment, seeing Jordy and what she can do for us and seeing our team stand up and step in and say, “We’re not going home,” Gasso said. “It was important, especially against a team like UCLA. They are very dangerous. They are so good. Well trained. These pitchers are very good and they are tough. They’re tough to beat and their hitters are tough to beat. So it seems that we always face each other in those situations, and every time we play at UCLA, we have to do our best and they always make us better.
“So playing against them has got to really bring out your best.”