NORMAN — The No. 1 overall seed Oklahoma softball team scored six runs in the fifth inning to complete the rally and beat the No. 2 seed of the Norman Regional, Wichita State, 7-5.
Elam finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs and two homers to pace the Sooners at the plate. It marked the second time in the past four games that Elam has gone yard twice in a single game. She also batted in four runs for the second time of the season and third time of her career.
The top two home-run hitting teams in the country didn’t disappoint in Saturday’s matchup, combining for five home runs. Nine of the 12 runs scored came via the long ball.
Wichita State opened the scoring in the first inning on a solo blast from Madison Perrigan before OU answered in the bottom of the second courtesy of Elam’s first home run of the contest.
After a scoreless third, the Shockers plated a go-ahead run on a solo shot from Ryleigh Buck.
The OU bats woke up in the fifth inning with the Sooners scoring six runs on four hits. Following a walk to redshirt senior Nicole Mendes, Jennings ripped an RBI double off the left field wall to plate Mendes and tie the game. The next at-bat, Player of the Year finalist Alo hit an RBI double up the middle to score the go-ahead run.
Sophomore Kinzie Hansen ripped OU’s third consecutive hit on an RBI single up the middle to score pinch runner Kinsey Koeltzow. After a fielder’s choice and stolen bag from freshman Jayda Coleman and walk to Grace Lyons, Elam launched her second home run of the day and 24th career round-tripper.
The Shockers fought back with three runs on Buck’s second home run of the game in the sixth but redshirt senior Giselle Juarez and freshman Nicole May combined to finish the game for OU and secure the win.
Juarez collected her team-best 18th win of the season in the circle, entering in the fourth and going two innings, striking out a pair, walking one and scattering three hits with three runs. May threw 1.1 innings and got the second save of her career. She retired four of the six batters she faced and collected the final out of the game via strikeout to leave two runners stranded.
Oklahoma brought its home run tally to 136 courtesy of Elam’s two blasts. The mark stands alone for second in NCAA history for single-season home runs.
Elam’s two homers marked the 16th time an OU player has hit two or more round-trippers in 2021.
Additionally, OU has hit two-plus home runs in 39 of its 49 games.
The Sooners improve to 3-2 in games in which they trailed after four innings.
Oklahoma advances to the NCAA Norman Regional final and will face the winner of Saturday night’s Wichita State-Texas A&M game for a spot in the Super Regionals.
The Sooners are one win from being supers bound, while the winner of WSU vs. Texas A&M would have to beat OU twice to advance.