🥎 OU, UCLA set for WCWS clash
The Women's College World Series continues with a semifinal showdown between perennial powers, Oklahoma and UCLA, on Monday.
✌🏽 Happy Monday, friends. Let’s ride.
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Oklahoma’s made its week at the Women’s College World Series look easy so far.
The top-seeded Sooners run-ruled Northwestern 13-2 in five innings last Thursday and beat Texas 7-2 on Saturday to advance to the WCWS semifinals.
So, what’s next for OU coach Patty Gasso’s group?
OU faces fifth-seeded UCLA at 11 a.m. CT today on ESPN. If the Sooners win, they’ll clinch a spot in the WCWS championship series. An OU loss would force an extra game that would decide who secures the bid.
This will be the second meeting this season between the Sooners and Bruins. OU beat UCLA 4-1 in the Mark Campbell Invitational in Irvine, California on Feb. 12.
The winner of the semifinal will face either Texas or Oklahoma State in the championship series.
How the Sooners (56-2) got here: Hope Trautwein and strong offensive performances have fueled OU in Oklahoma City. Trautwein has pitched all but 1/3 of an inning through two WCWS games, emerging as OU’s go-to arm late in the postseason. Trautwein struck out seven and allowed one hit against Northwestern. She then gave up six hits against Texas but her and OU’s stellar defense limited the 'Horns to just two runs. Meanwhile, OU’s offense has flourished, hitting at least two home runs in both games. Tiare Jennings is responsible for two of them, including a grand slam on Thursday. Jocelyn Alo and Jana Johns recorded the other two.
How the Bruins (50-9) got here: As friend of the newsletter Ryan Chapman once put it, UCLA had to take the scenic route to the WCWS semifinals. The Bruins lost 7-2 to Texas in their WCWS opening-round game, forcing them to work their way out of the loser’s bracket. UCLA survived a tighter game than the final score indicated against Northwestern on Friday, winning 6-1 after the Wildcats missed a massive opportunity in the fifth inning to take control.The Bruins then beat Florida 8-0 in six innings on Sunday to advance to the semis. UCLA has relied on the pitching talent of Megan Faraimo and Holly Azevedo, both of whom have 21 or more wins this season, to help it stay alive.
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🔒 OU lands 4-star WR
Oklahoma football landed the commitment of 2023 receiver prospect Keyon Brown on Sunday, according to his Instagram account.
Brown received his offer from Oklahoma on June 2. And by June 5, he verbally committed to the Sooners. The 6-foot-3 receiver from Tallahassee, Florida, is a four-star prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite. He is ranked among the top-50 receivers and top-100 prospects from talent-rich Florida.
His other offers included Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami and Ole Miss, among others.
For more on Brown, visit soonerscoop.com.
🏟 Around campus
⚾️ Sooners trying to stay alive in postseason: Oklahoma started regional play with two wins, pushing it to the NCAA Gainesville Regional final. The Sooners dropped their first game of the postseason to Florida on Sunday, forcing them to play a winner-take-all game at noon CT on Monday. For more on the Sooners, visit si.com.
🏀 OU men reportedly hire new assistant: CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reports Oklahoma will hire Matt Brady to fill one of its vacant assistant positions. Brady, 56, has over a decade of head coaching experience, spending four seasons at Marist and eight at James Madison. He most recently worked at Maryland as an assistant.
🏀⚽️🎾🥎 SEC announces future scheduling model: The Southeastern Conference announced its scheduling model for six sports in preparation for OU and Texas’ arrival to the league. Visit secsports.com to see how scheduling will work for men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, softball and women’s soccer.
Reporters aren’t technically supposed to cheer for anything, but damn, how electric would a Bedlam championship series be?
For those that watched the game, HOW DID RACHEL LEWIS NOT SWING?!?!