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Sooners win wild softball final opener

OKLAHOMA CITY — Lauren Chamberlain hit a two-run home run down the leftfield line in the bottom of the 12th inning, lifting top-seeded Oklahoma to a 5-3 win against Tennessee on Monday night in Game 1 of the Women's College World Series final.

Chamberlain followed Brianna Turang's leadoff double by smashing a high drive that soared over the foul pole for her 30th homer of the season, tying for the NCAA lead.

"I really couldn't believe it," Chamberlain said. "It was awesome."

Game 2 of the best-of-three series is tonight.

The Sooners, playing about 20 miles from their campus, capitalized on a dropped pop-up to rally from three runs down in the 11th after Tennessee's Madison Shipman broke a scoreless tie with a three-run home run off of national player of the year Keilani Ricketts (35-1).

Ellen Renfroe (19-5) matched Ricketts until the end, striking out 13 for seventh-seeded Tennessee (52-11). It was the longest game in the final round since 1984, when UCLA beat Texas A&M 1-0 in 13 innings back when a single game decided the title.

Shipman lined an 0-and-1 pitch over the 220-foot fence in center to break a scoreless tie. The Sooners rallied in the bottom half; Callie Parsons tied it with an RBI double.

Baseball

Regions: South Carolina (42-18) won its 27th consecutive postseason home game, defeating Liberty 6-4 to reach the Super Regions for the fourth straight season. The streak began in 2002 at defunct Sarge Frye Field and has continued at the $36.5 million Carolina Stadium the past four seasons. … Vanderbilt (54-10), the No. 2 national seed, beat Georgia Tech 7-1 to win the Nashville Region. … Hunter Renfroe had three hits and two RBIs to lead host Mississippi State (46-18) past Central Arkansas 6-1 to win the Starkville Region. … Florida Atlantic and top national seed North Carolina went extra innings; the game was not over at press time.

Drug testing: Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray, regarded as a top-five prospect in this week's MLB draft, tested positive for Adderall, ESPN.com reported. The website said the test would not result in a professional suspension but would make the right-hander subject to additional MLB testing. Gray's Sooners face LSU in the Super Regions. The draft begins Thursday.

Elsewhere

Football: The Big Ten and the Pinstripe Bowl agreed to an eight-year deal starting in 2014. The Big Ten will take the Big 12's place in the game, at Yankee Stadium in New York. … Cornerback Tyler Patmon transferred to Oklahoma State after graduating from Kansas. … East Carolina gave coach Ruffin McNeill a contract extension through the 2017 season. The extension will pay him a total of $1.15 million plus incentives. His base salary rises from $200,000 to $400,000.

Lacrosse: The Big Ten will add the sport in 2015 and welcome the powerhouse Johns Hopkins men's team as an affiliate member, two moves that could boost the league's profile in the East. The addition of men's and women's lacrosse will increase the number of league sports to 28. Lacrosse has a strong following in much of the East and mid-Atlantic — and the move comes a year before Maryland, another lacrosse power, and Rutgers join the Big Ten. Both men's and women's leagues will also include Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan; Northwestern will be the sixth women's program, the minimum number required.

Basketball: Longtime North Carolina assistant Joe Holladay is retiring and former player Brad Frederick was hired to replace him.

Bad remarks: The U.S. Military Academy men's rugby team was temporarily disbanded after cadets forwarded emails derogatory to women, a West Point spokesman said. "It was locker room trash," said Lt. Col. Webster Wright, who would not detail the emails' contents.

Sooners win wild softball final opener 06/03/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 1:45am]

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