OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma's Shay Knighten had the big hit for the second night in a row, and the Sooners edged Florida 5-4 Tuesday night to win their second straight softball national title.
Knighten, a sophomore first baseman who was named the WCWS most outstanding player, had a three-run double to right-center in the second off Delanie Gourley, who relieved Aleshia Ocasio that inning and gave up nothing else.
Gourley had pitched 10 innings in relief in Monday night's Game 1, when Knighten's three-run home run off Kelly Barnhill in the top of the 17th inning gave the Sooners a 7-4 lead, and Oklahoma held on for a 7-5 win in the longest championship game in history. It lasted 5:28, and all four pitchers threw more than 100 pitches. The Gators extended Game 1 twice after being down to their last strike.
Tuesday, the score was 5-4 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and UF pinch-runner Alex Voss was at second when Paige Lowary struck out Amanda Lorenz. The next inning, Lowary ended it with two strikeouts and a groundout.
Florida's staff had an ERA of 0.00 through the first three games of the tournament, holding Texas A&M, LSU and Washington to two unearned runs in 20 innings. The ERA jumped to 3.65 in 24 innings against the Sooners, who had four homers and eight extra-base hits in the two championship games.
No. 10 seed Oklahoma (61-9), the lowest seed to win the title, also won national titles in 2013 and 2016. Top-seeded Florida (58-10) won in 2014 and 2015.
Florida State and Florida will be hosts for their best-of-three Super Regions, both opening Saturday. The Seminoles face Sam Houston State at noon and the Gators face Wake Forest at 3, with former Alonso standout right-hander Alex Faedo scheduled to start, followed by Brady Singer on Sunday and, if Game 3 is necessary, Jackson Kowar on Monday. The eight Super Regions determine College World Series teams. Mississippi State advanced with four wins in two days, culminating with an 8-6 victory early Tuesday over Southern Miss in the Hattiesburg Region.
FOOTBALL: Mississippi disputed the NCAA's charges of lack of institutional control and failure to monitor by coach Hugh Freeze, along with allegations of a $10,000 cash payment to a recruit. The football program released its response to a second NCAA Notice of Allegations in less than two years. The first notice alleged 13 violations while the second added eight. … Tennessee receiver Josh Smith agreed to a deal that will allow a domestic assault charge to be dismissed once he performs 40 hours of community service and pays $334.25 in court costs. Smith was arrested last month after fighting with a roommate.