Softball Live Blog: Oklahoma, Florida Look to Avoid Elimination in WCWS Semifinals

The Sooners and the Gators meet for a second time in as many days for a spot in the WCWS Championship Series against Texas.
SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY

OKLAHOMA CITY — Ryan Chapman and John Hoover offer their real-time observations as the Oklahoma Sooners take on the Florida Gators at Devon Park, formerly USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium, in an elimination game. Newest posts are at the top. Just keep the browser open and refresh often for Chapman and Hoover’s updates throughout this afternoon's contest. 

4:07 p.m.

Jayda Coleman wasn’t going out a loser. Not yet.

The Sooners’ excitable senior just hit an opposite field home run over the left field wall to walk-off Florida in a 6-5 thriller.

Holy cow.

On to the champ series. Bring on the Longhorns.

— JH

4:03 p.m.

Kelly Maxwell’s best inning was the eighth, with three harmless ground balls (and two nice plays by Alyssa Brito and one by Avery Hodge). Only needed seven pitches.

Sooners coming to the plate in the bottom of the eighth.

— JH

3:56 p.m.

Sanders struck out and Hodge popped out, so we head to the eighth inning. 

Florida will have Kistler, Brown and Kowalewski coming to the plate. 

OU’s order will turn over with Coleman in the bottom of the eighth. 

Gasso sticking with Maxwell. 

— RC 

3:51 p.m.

Kasidi Pickering hammers a one-out double. 

Senior Rylie Boone can win the game for the Sooners. 

— RC 

3:35 p.m.

Ella Parker delivered a two-out single to bring home Avery Hodge and tie the game at 5-5.

The same Ella Parker who collided with Skylar Wallace at second base and seemed to hit her head on the dirt.

Yeah, that Ella Parker.

-- JH

3:35 p.m.

This team. 

Ella Parker, RBI-single. 

Tie ballgame. 

— RC 

3:34 p.m.

Jennings walks… Parker back up.

— RC 

3:31 p.m.

Avery Hodge with a one-out double. 

Jayda Coleman popped up. Tiare Jennings time. 

— RC 

3:22 p.m.

Kelly Maxwell survives a leadoff walk, and the Sooners are down to their final six outs. 

Sanders-Hodge-Coleman due up. 

Have to wonder if Riley Ludlam is called upon for Hodge. 

Florida still clinging on to its 5-4 lead.

— RC 

3:11 p.m.

Real wasted opportunity there with the tying run at third base. Kasidi Pickering walks to put runners at the corners, and Rylie Boone flies out to left field.

I know there’s two out, but if Boone is such an agent of chaos, why not drag bunt her there and squeeze Maya Bland home?

— JH

3:03 p.m.

What a scary moment that was, a collision at second base between Ella Parker and Skylar Wallace. Glad everyone seems to be OK.

— RC 

3:00 p.m.

Skylar Wallace looks okay, thankfully. 

Maya Bland is going to run for Parker, who was smiling in the dugout. 

Call on the field after a review is safe, so the Sooners have a leadoff double. 

— RC 

2:57 p.m.

Both training staffs on the field.

Massive collision at second base between Ella Parker and Skylar Wallace as the two collided at second base with Parker trying to stretch a hit off the wall into a double. 

An uncomfortable silence has blanketed Devon Park. 

— RC 

2:53 p.m.

Kelly Maxwell issued a pair of two-out walks, but all’s well that ends well as Jayda Coleman catches the final out of the inning and tries to get the Sooners fired up with a roar on her way back to the dugout. 

Nine outs left for OU to erase a one-run deficit. 

— RC 

2:32 p.m.

Cydney Sanders is the Pedro Cerrano of this team. She just mashed a pitch over the wall in center field off Rothrock to cut the Florida lead to 5-4 with one out in the fourth inning.

She can hit the ball a mile, and like Patty Gasso says, when she swings, it just sounds/feels/looks different.

— JH

2:30 p.m.

Cydney Sanders narrowly missed a home run in her last at-bat. 

She got it here. 

Two-run shot that pulls OU back within one run. 

If Oklahoma is eliminated today, the Sooners are going to go out on their shield. Buckle up. 

— RC 

2:24 p.m.

Oklahoma is running out of innings, running out of outs. It’s the bottom of the fourth and Florida still leads 5-2.

The Gators have just three hits (OU has five), but all three have been home runs to produce all five runs.

This needs to be one of those trademark Oklahoma innings — Kasidi Pickering leads off in the 6-hole — that can arrive like a thunderclap.

Is this team starting to look a little burned out? Probably should just give credit to Rothrock for good pitching, and of course UF’s defense.

But the question can be asked.

— JH

2:06 p.m.

Reagan Walsh’s second home run against Oklahoma is the Gators’ seventh in the series, and Florida leads it 5-2 with two out in the third. 

Kinzie Hansen calls a meeting in the circle and Kelly Maxwell is gonna hang in there.

— JH

2:04 p.m.

Yesterday’s sixth inning is the only frame Florida hasn’t scored against Oklahoma. 

Reagan Walsh made Maxwell pay for leaving another one over the plate with a solo shot to extend the Gators’ lead to 5-2.

— RC

2:00 p.m.

Keagan Rothrock threw 130 pitches in seven innings yesterday. 

She’s already had to throw 58 through two innings today. 

Sooners have stranded three runners, but getting nice contact for the most part. 

Kelly Maxwell really needs a lockdown inning to get the bats back in the hands of her offense with the Sooners trailing 4-2.

— RC 

1:58 p.m.

Oklahoma going small ball with a slap single by Avery Hodge and an error that puts her at second and a perfectly executed bunt single by Jayda Coleman.

But two out, and Tiare Jennings flies out to end the rally.

A spark of life, but no result. Gators still lead 4-2. 

— JH

1:44 p.m.

Maxwell fired three strikeouts after surrendering a second two-run shot of the afternoon to Florida.

Going to be an adventure all day. Sooners are simply going to have to score runs in bunches. 

— RC 

1:40 p.m.

For the record, it took Nicole May 13 batters to surrender four runs, and she was assisted by a number of defensive miscues. 

Maxwell has only faced seven and the Gators already have a pair of two-run shots off the OU lefty. 

Maxwell has to figure it out, but May fared better against Florida’s explosive lineup. 

— RC 

1:38 p.m.

Oh look, another two-run home run for Florida.

Kowalewski bashes one to right over Kasidi Pickering’s glove, and Gators are back up 4-2.

The walk by Maxwell set that up, and with nobody out yet, Florida could be setting up another big inning.

Maxwell’s control has been spotty today, and she’s gonna have to be better.

— JH

1:30 p.m.

Pickering bounced it right back to Skylar Wallace and the Florida senior turned two. 

Brought the inning to an end, but the Sooners have the momentum back even though the game is just tied 2-2. 

— RC 

1:27 p.m.

This contest was unplanned for Tuesday, so Devon Park is far from full. But it’s louder right now than any point yesterday. 

Tiare Jennings’ 11-pitch at-bat has been the spark. Oklahoma looks like Oklahoma right now. 

Florida taking a mound visit to try and slow things down and get Rothrock back on track. 

— RC 

1:25 p.m.

Alyssa Brito follows with a double of her own and Devon Park is rocking again.

Look out, Gators.

— JH

1:23 p.m.

Didn’t like Jayda Coleman’s body language on the called third strike, but Tiare Jennings makes up for it with a double to the left-center gap — she was pumping her firsts on her way to first base and still beat the throw.

Then Ella Parker absolutely obliterates a pitch from Rothrock into the seats in center field.

This thing is tied 2-2.

— JH

1:17 p.m.

The good news? Kelly Maxwell appeared to settle in for the final two outs of the first inning. 

The bad news? It did take that two-run shot from Jocelyn Erickson for her to steady. 

OU has to hope that it’s like a quarterback that needs to get hit first to get going.

Not insurmountable by any means as the Sooners got plenty of contact off Florida pitcher Keagan Rothrock yesterday, but Oklahoma can’t squander chances. 

— RC 

1:14 p.m.

Oklahoma looked entirely uncomfortable playing from behind yesterday, and never got their vibe going. 

Today the Sooners start out down 2-0.

As the OU bats come up in the bottom of the first, can they get that confidence back offensively?

— JH

1:11 p.m.

In inauspicious start for Kelly Maxwell as she walks Skylar Wallace. Gotta be careful with the Gators’ big boppers, of course. But Tiare Jennings gets Wallace at second base on a ground ball up the middle. Kind of tailor made for a double play, but Korbe Otis beat it out. 

Then former Sooner Jocelyn Erickson takes Maxwell out to right field for a 2-0 Gators lead.

Otis beating out that double play shows me this could be a game of inches today.

— JH

12:36 p.m.

No shock here, but Patty Gasso is turning back to Kelly Maxwell. The Sooners must win this game to take on Texas in the WCWS Championship Series, or OU's run of three-straight national titles will come to an end today.

Still no Alynah Torres, so Avery Hodge is at second and will be hitting in the 9-hole.

Florida is rolling with Keagan Rothrock once again after she stymied the Sooners on Monday.


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Ryan Chapman

RYAN CHAPMAN

Ryan is deputy editor at AllSooners and covers a number of sports in and around Norman and Oklahoma City. Working both as a journalist and a sports talk radio host, Ryan has covered the Oklahoma Sooners, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, the Oklahoma City Energy and more. Since 2019, Ryan has simultaneously pursued a career as both a writer and a sports talk radio host, working for the Flagship for Oklahoma sports, 107.7 The Franchise, as well as AllSooners.com. Ryan serves as a contributor to The Franchise’s website, TheFranchiseOK.com, which was recognized as having the “Best Website” in 2022 by the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. Ryan holds an associate’s degree in Journalism from Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City, OK. 

John E. Hoover

JOHN E. HOOVER

John is an award-winning journalist whose work spans five decades in Oklahoma, with multiple state, regional and national awards as a sportswriter at various newspapers. During his newspaper career, John covered the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Oklahoma Sooners, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Arkansas Razorbacks and much more. In 2016, John changed careers, migrating into radio and launching a YouTube channel, and has built a successful independent media company, DanCam Media. From there, John has written under the banners of Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, Fan Nation and a handful of local and national magazines while hosting daily sports talk radio shows in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and statewide. John has also spoken on Capitol Hill in Oklahoma City in a successful effort to put more certified athletic trainers in Oklahoma public high schools. Among the dozens of awards he has won, John most cherishes his national "Beat Writer of the Year" from the Associated Press Sports Editors, Oklahoma's "Best Sports Column" from the Society of Professional Journalists, and Two "Excellence in Sports Medicine Reporting" Awards from the National Athletic Trainers Association. John holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from East Central University in Ada, OK. Born and raised in North Pole, Alaska, John played football and wrote for the school paper at Ada High School in Ada, OK. He enjoys books, movies and travel, and lives in Broken Arrow, OK, with his wife and two kids.