Rogers leads Tennessee past Oklahoma St, to the semifinals of the Women’s College World Series

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tennessee overcame a disproportionate loss and focused on the opportunity at hand.

Ashley Rogers pitched a complete game, and the fourth-seeded Lady Vols defeated No. 6 Oklahoma State 3-1 on Sunday to qualify for the semifinals of the Women’s College World Series.

The Tennessee ace allowed one run and four hits while striking out four. He returned to the circle after not playing in a 9-0 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday that put the Lady Vols on the brink of elimination.

“We don’t think it was us on the field yesterday,” Rogers said. “Just knowing who we are as a team and just playing Tennessee softball and just throwing it in the water, turning the page — it’s a new day, it’s a new game.”

Rogers threw 136 pitches.

“I feel like I’m pretty conditioned to release that,” she said. “I’ve probably thrown 100+ pitches in most of my games. Trusting my preparation, trusting the defense, keep fighting and fighting every pitch.”

Tennessee (51-9) advanced to play No. 3 Florida State (57-9) on Monday. It’s the best performance by the Lady Vols in the World Series since they finished as runners-up to Oklahoma in 2013.

It’s a double-elimination bracket, and Florida State is undefeated while Tennessee has one loss, so the Lady Vols will need to win twice on Monday, while Florida State will need to win just once to advance to the best-of championship series. three. .

Rogers’ effort allowed Lady Vols to save Payton Gottshall for Monday. Gottshall has a 16-1 record with a 1.57 earned run average.

Oklahoma State (47-16) made its fourth straight World Series appearance but has yet to reach the championship series. The Cowgirls made it to the semifinals last year.

“We’re just going to keep kicking our opponents in the shins, and eventually we’ll kick this door down, and look back at teams like this,” Oklahoma State coach Kenny Gajewski said.

No. 1 Oklahoma (57-1) will play No. 9 Stanford (47-14) in the other semifinal. Stanford will need to win twice, while the two-time defending champion Sooners will need a win to move on.

Kiki Milloy put the Lady Vols up against Oklahoma State starter Kelly Maxwell when she walked, stole second and scored on Zaida Puni’s double. Rylie West’s RBI single made it 2–0 and Maxwell was replaced.

Oklahoma State threatened in the fourth but was unable to score. Tallen Edwards doubled, but Tennessee second baseman Destiny Rodriguez tagged out Micaela Wark at the plate to end the inning.

In the fifth, Puni made a mistake and then scored on a shooting error to make it 3-0.

Morgan Wynne hit a solo shot just inside the left foul pole in the sixth to put Oklahoma State on the board, but that’s all the Cowgirls could produce.

Maxwell took the loss for the Cowgirls. Lexi Kilfoyl didn’t allow a hit in 3 2/3 innings of relief.

Oklahoma State lost 11 of 13 going into the NCAA Tournament, but went undefeated in the regionals and super regionals, allowing just three runs in five games to qualify for the World Series.

“It was mainly outsiders who doubted us, and I think we kept our cool and the coaches helped us keep our cool with each other,” Kilfoyl said. “We needed to look back and see what we’ve done and take that and look at all the good stuff and use that to our advantage.”


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