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Sooners hold off Seminoles, headed back to WCWS

Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso thought Jayda Coleman was trying to fool the offense as she tracked down a ball in center field.

It was hit hard, and Gasso, knowing Coleman often tries to hold up runners by pretending to catch a ball that had gone over the fence, didn’t think she had a chance. Coleman left her feet and extended her gloved hand as high as it would go.

The ball didn’t land in her glove until she was on the way down, but she still managed to pull it in as her back hit the wall. Florida State’s next batter hit a home run down the left foul line, but it only took away part of the Sooners’ momentum from the highlight reel catch.

Senior pitcher Nicole May took over in the sixth and closed out the game allowing no hits and no earned runs over the final two innings in her final game in Norman.

The Sooners would hold off the Seminoles for the second straight game to secure a super regional sweep and advance to their eighth straight Women’s College World Series.

“Really proud of this group,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said.

Oklahoma didn’t score its first run until the third inning when Ella Parker served as the distraction to score Coleman on a double steal.

The Sooners went scoreless in the fourth, but drove in three runs in the fifth to shift the game in their favor.

Kasidi Pickering put the Sooners on top for good with a two-run home run.

“When you hold Florida State to two runs, that’s winning,” Gasso said. “because they’re incredible swingers, they’re just really good hitters.”

The Sooners had eight hits and were walked eight times. The Seminoles had six hits including two home runs and a double, but couldn’t score any runs after loading up the bases in the first and second inning.

Starting pitcher Kierston Deal left the game in the third inning after giving up three hits, one earned run and one walk, but Karlie Keeney entered the game and appeared to steady the Sooners’ defense.

Keeney was credited with her sixth win of the season and May earned her second save.

“Really, really happy with our pitching staff,” Gasso said. “I love what they did and how they handed the torch to each other.”