NCAA softball: Oklahoma 5, Tennessee 3, 12 innings: Two-run homer powers top-ranked Sooners

2013-06-04T00:00:00Z NCAA softball: Oklahoma 5, Tennessee 3, 12 innings: Two-run homer powers top-ranked SoonersThe Associated Press The Associated Press
June 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

OKLAHOMA CITY - Lauren Chamberlain rounded first base waiting, wondering and praying even that her long drive would be a home run and not just a foul ball.

When third-base umpire Christie Cornwell raised her right hand and signaled that it was a home run, she thrust both arms into the air and ran around the bases into a celebration at home plate.

Chamberlain's two-run home run in the bottom of the 12th inning lifted top-seeded Oklahoma to a 5-3 win against Tennessee on Monday night in Game 1 of the Women's College World Series finals. It was her 30th of the season, tying for the most in the nation this season.

"I really couldn't believe it," Chamberlain said. "It was awesome."

The Sooners capitalized on a dropped pop-up to rally from three runs down in the 11th after Tennessee' Madison Shipman broke a scoreless tie with a three-run home run off of national player of the year Keilani Ricketts (35-1).

Ellen Renfroe (19-5) was able to match Ricketts until the end, striking out 13 for seventh-seeded Tennessee (52-11). She threw 180 pressure-packed pitches, eight less than Ricketts.

It ended up as the longest game in the championship round since 1984, when UCLA beat Texas A&M 1-0 in 13 innings back when a single game decided the NCAA softball title.

"There's no break in the Oklahoma lineup. Every single pitch, it's all you've got because if you don't give everything then it's going to get hit out. Something bad's going to happen," Renfroe said. "I think more than anything it's just emotionally draining. Physically, we've trained for this all year."

Game 2 of the best-of-three championship series is tonight.

"I just told our kids that this is not over yet," said Lady Vols co-head coach Ralph Weekly, whose team won the opener in 2007 before losing the next two to Arizona. Oklahoma did the same thing last season, losing Games 2 and 3 - and the national championship - to Alabama.


• Who: Oklahoma vs. Tennessee. Oklahoma leads series 1-0.

• When: 5 p.m.


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