• 75°

Oklahoma repeats as college softball champions

By Cliff Brunt

AP Sports Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Shay Knighten hit a three-run double in the second inning and Oklahoma defended its NCAA softball title with a 5-4 win over Florida on Tuesday night.

Knighten, who hit a three-run homer in the 17th inning to help win Game 1 on Monday, was selected the World Series’ Most Outstanding Player. The Sooners (61-9) took both games from Florida in the best-of-three series to earn their third NCAA title in five years.

Oklahoma freshman Mariah Lopez (18-1) got the win in relief of Paige Parker. Paige Lowary stepped in and threw two innings of perfect relief for her nation-leading 11th save. With a one-run lead, she retired Florida’s Nos. 2-4 hitters in order in the seventh.

Florida pitcher Kelly Barnhill, USA Softball’s National Collegiate Player of the Year, did not play. Florida coach Tim Walton went with No. 3 pitcher Alesia Ocasio (8-2), and she got the loss. Delaney Gourley allowed the double to Knighten in relief.

Top-seeded Florida (58-10) did not allow an earned run in three games to reach the championship series, but the Sooners were able to break through against what statistically was the nation’s best pitching staff.

Oklahoma’s Nicole Mendes homered on Ocasio’s third pitch of the game to give the Sooners a 1-0 lead. Sophia Reynoso responded with a solo shot for Florida in the second.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the second, Ocasio singled to knock in Justine McLean, then Kayli Kvistad walked with the bases loaded to score Amanda Lorenz and make it 3-1.

Knighten’s big hit in the bottom of the second put Oklahoma up 5-3. Florida’s Chelsea Herndon came back with a solo blast in the third to cut Oklahoma’s lead to 5-4.

Oklahoma had just one senior in its lineup and has no senior pitchers.

Comments

Coronavirus

Nearly 400 cases considered currently active in the county

Education

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College creates free course to help parents tackle virtual learning

Business

New unemployment claims down in August, could indicate positive trend for businesses

Crime

Salisbury man faces drug possession charges after overdose call

Crime

Police: Man charged after children call 911 from neighbor’s house

Ask Us

Ask Us: Who are people behind sign at City Park playground?

Coronavirus

Prison in Salisbury latest site of COVID-19 outbreak

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury Man charged with felony assault by strangulation

Nation/World

Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3

Nation/World

New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day

Elections

In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising

Business

From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community

Elections

In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help

Local

Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system

Education

School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice

Elections

Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch

Elections

Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand

Crime

UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors

Nation/World

Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat

Coronavirus

Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19

Crime

Highway Patrol charges man in hit-and-run after finding vehicle hidden in woods

Elections

NC elections board, Republicans at odds over absentee ballot rule changes