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Oklahoma edges Oregon to wrap up regional title

May 21—NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma softball team has advanced to its 14th consecutive NCAA Super Regional.

A phenomenal start by senior right-handed pitcher Nicole May and lights-out relief courtesy of Kelly Maxwell led No. 2 Oklahoma to a 3-2 win over No. 22 Oregon in Sunday's regional final. OU will host No. 15 Florida State in a Super Regional beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at Love's Field.

Oklahoma (51-6) extended its NCAA Tournament win streak to 16 games with the victory over Oregon (30-21), clinching the program's 17th Super Regional appearance.

May earned her second start of the regional, rewarding the Sooners with 5.0 innings of excellent work. The right-hander struck out six while allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits and zero walks. She threw 51 of her 73 pitches for strikes, working to a 69.9% strike rate.

Playing as the visitors, Oklahoma jumped on Oregon early with a run in the top of the first. Back-to-back singles from Jayda Coleman (3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI) and Ella Parker (1-for-3) plus heads-up baserunning on an aggressive Duck throw to third put two in scoring position for the OU middle-of-the-order. Kasidi Pickering (0-for-2, BB, SF, RBI) plated the game's first tally with a sacrifice fly, scoring Coleman with one away.

he Sooners added another run in the second sparked by a gritty 12-pitch plate appearance worked by Avery Hodge (0-for-2, HBP, R). OU's second baseman fouled off seven straight pitches before being hit by the 12th pitch of the PA, igniting the Oklahoma dugout. Coleman promptly served a double into center, scoring Hodge all the way from first.

Oregon knotted the game at 2-2 in a tumultuous bottom of the third that ended with Sooner right fielder Rylie Boone (1-for-3) throwing out the would-be go-ahead run at home plate. Oklahoma reached three straight batters with two outs in the ensuing inning, capped by an eventual game-winning RBI single off the bat of Tiare Jennings (1-for-3, RBI) on a 3-2 count.

May fanned the side in the bottom of the fourth and added a zero in the fifth before giving way to Maxwell in the sixth. Oklahoma's graduate southpaw retired six of the seven she faced, striking out a pair on the way to her second save of the season.

In addition to recording her 14th win of the season, May improved to 2-0 in NCAA Tournament play this postseason. The senior struck out 15 and walked none across her 10.0 innings of work in the Norman Regional, scattering eight hits and allowing just one earned run (0.70 ERA).

Oklahoma's pitching staff registered a 1.40 ERA across 20.0 innings in the regional, striking out 26 and walking none over its three games.