A Cinderella story never ends well, does it? On Sunday, this one did: the Patriots punched a ticket to the Women’s College World Series for the first time ever, by beating Oklahoma State on a walk-off home run by Lauren Chamberlain. The Patriots, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, will play the winner between No. 7 seed Florida and No. 8 seed UC Santa Barbara.
James Madison was a Cinderella story in college softball. The two-time defending national champion and top-ranked team in the country showed its weaknesses in the early rounds of the Women’s College World Series, but it was a Cinderella story that a mid-tier program like Oklahoma State pulled off to force a regional final, where it prevailed over the Dukes.
The James Madison Dukes, the Dukes of the Big East Conference, the Dukes of the ACC, the Dukes of the SEC, the Dukes of the Big 12, and the Dukes of the Big East Conference are all in the Women’s College World Series. Only one team from the “Dukes” is left: James Madison. This underdog team has been playing as well as any team in the tournament, and on the road. They brought a team that lacked stars in the field, but the team has shown that they have depth and toughness that has been uncommon in the Women’s College World Series.
OKLAHOMA CITY – James Madison has done it again. A day after beating first-place Oklahoma, the Dukes defeated fifth-place Oklahoma State 2-1 in the Women’s College World Series on Friday night. With two wins over Big 12 teams within an hour of their campus, the undesignated Colonial Athletic Association champion Dukes are just one win away from advancing to the three-game championship series. Odicci Alexander earned complete victories in both matches. She threw 129 innings against Oklahoma, then another 95 against the Cowgirls. She’s looking for others. 2 Connected Rest, take each of those moments, Alexander said. I can’t tell you. I’m just happy to be here and bring that fight, that heart, that passion, that courage, all that if we continue to play. Oklahoma State (48-11) will take on either Arizona or Florida State in an away game Saturday night. We just have to clean it up, Oklahoma State pitcher Kelly Maxwell said. It happens. It’s a great team. But we just have to be ready tomorrow to do what we have to do, regardless of the opponent, and fight against the other team. I’m just excited to be here and bring that fight, that heart, that passion, that eagerness, all of that if I keep playing, Odicchi Alexander (center, looks at the camera) said after playing a complete game to bring JMU within one win of the best-of-three championship game. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki Alexander helped his pitching by getting on base in the first inning. Two batters later, Madison Naujokas walked and an error by pitcher Carrie Eberle allowed Alexandra to score. In game two, the Cowgirls had two runs and one out, but failed to score. James Madison’s Kate Gordon hits a home run for the second straight day. His solo shot in the third inning gave the Dukes (41-2) a 2-0 lead. Eberle was hit on his lower left leg in the third inning, but stayed in the game. Oklahoma State eventually took the lead in the fifth on a homer by Chelsea Alexander and a shot by Reagan Wright. Oklahoma State called on the bullpen in the fifth inning when Eberle got into trouble, but Maxwell got out of trouble without allowing a run. Maxwell pitched two perfect innings and had five strikeouts. Oklahoma State scored the final run of the game in the seventh inning. Carly Petty was hit by a pitch in the first inning and pinch-runner Scotland David stole second base. David was stuck in a shootout between second and third after an Oklahoma State layup. James Madison was held for obstruction, so Petty went to third. Odicci Alexander scooped up the ball, picked it up and moved to tag David, who came home for his second out. It was a complicated situation, Odicci Alexander said. The runners were on second and third base and I knew they were going to do something like that, so I concentrated, and I mean, I saw him in the outfield and I really didn’t have time to throw the ball to Lauren (Burnett), so I just went for it. Alexander drew the next player to himself and the Dukes advanced to the semi-finals. It’s an indescribable feeling to see how far we’ve come, and I think that says a lot about our program, said James Madison third baseman Lynsey Meeks. All the hard work we put in over the off-season has finally paid off and I couldn’t be more proud of these girls and what we’ve accomplished on this big stage.If James Madison had been playing college baseball in Oklahoma, the Dukes might have been wondering if they were headed for the World Series right about the time they were putting their shoes on for the first game against Oklahoma State.. Read more about women’s college world series winners and let us know what you think.
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