OKLAHOMA CITY — The lights went out and the party started.
A high-stakes Bedlam softball game was delayed 20 minutes when lighting above the right-field stands at Hall of Fame Stadium went dark.
Oklahoma’s players were quick to rally their fans during the detour that started around 10:30 p.m. Friday. Oklahoma State’s group held their own festivities with a Women's College World Series record 9,820 fans in attendance.
The Sooners were the only ones celebrating by night’s end and advanced to Sunday with a 6-1 win.
Both the Sooners and Cowgirls threw their aces in the WCWS winner's bracket game. OU junior Giselle Juarez bested OSU’s Samantha Show in a battle of transfer pitchers, however, just as she did in a Bedlam regular-season meeting on May 4.
Juarez, who improved to 28-1, dealt 11 strikeouts and allowed four hits from the Cowgirls in six innings worked. Shannon Saile closed the game and retired the side in order.
Giselle, the first-year Sooner and Arizona State transfer, looked locked in from the start. Show, who transferred from Texas A&M to OSU over the offseason, struggled to contain OU’s offense.
Jocelyn Alo took advantage of Show’s early issues with a two-run single to score Caleigh Clifton and Fale Aviu in the top of the first.
Shay Knighten followed the score with a single to center field, which plated Alo, in the same inning.
OSU responded with a one-run single from Michaela Richbourg in the bottom of the first.
From there, both teams combined for four scoreless innings from the second through the fifth inning. Although, OSU’s pitching staff unraveled in the top of the sixth inning.
OU loaded the bases with a Nicole Mendes single, Grace Lyons single and then Sydney Romero was hit by a pitch.
OU's next three batters plated each of the runners — Aviu was walked to score Mendes, Clifton was hit by a pitch to plate Lyons and Alo was walked to advance Romero.
The Cowgirls threatened in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff double from Rylee Bayless. The OSU senior advanced to third on a wild pitch but Juarez struck out the next three Cowgirls to retire the side.
OU is a win away from a WCWS championship series berth. The Sooners will play at 2:30 p.m. Sunday but won’t know their opponent until Saturday evening.