Top-seeded Oklahoma tops No. 2 UCLA in WCWS elimination game

OKLAHOMA CITY — Mackenzie Donihoo hit two homers, and top-seeded Oklahoma beat No. 2 UCLA 10-3 in an elimination game at the Women’s College World Series on Saturday night to reach the semifinals.

Oklahoma will face James Madison, the unseeded team that shocked the Sooners to start the tournament, on Sunday. Oklahoma will need to beat the Dukes twice to advance to the best-of-three championship series. James Madison will need just one win because it is unbeaten in the double-elimination format.

In 2019, UCLA defeated Oklahoma for the national title, and Rachel Garcia pitched both wins in the championship series. This year Garcia, a U.S. Olympian and the two-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, threw more than 100 pitches each of the previous two days before throwing another 106 against Oklahoma.

Giselle ā€œGā€ Juarez got the win in relief for her second victory of the day. She did not allow a run in five innings against UCLA. She threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings in an elimination game win over Georgia earlier in the day.

The game followed a rain delay of more than two hours.

Garcia gave herself a cushion with a three-run homer in the third inning to open the scoring.

Oklahoma got on the board with an RBI triple by Jocelyn Alo in the third. An infield single by Kinzie Hansen scored Alo. Oklahoma loaded the bases with two outs, but Garcia got out of the jam with a strikeout and held onto a 3-2 lead.

Jennings doubled and knocked in two in the fourth to put Oklahoma up 4-3.

UCLA loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but Bubba Nickles popped out.

Donihoo, who hit a homer against Georgia, hit a solo shot in the fifth to put the Sooners up 5-3.

Hansen doubled to knock in two in the sixth. That gave the Sooners a 7-3 lead, and UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez finally pulled Garcia. Donihoo blasted a two-run homer off Holly Azevedo in the sixth to push Oklahoma’s lead to 10-3.

___ Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter:

The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.