#15 Oklahoma 7
The Iona Gaels just concluded their opening game at the Norman, OK Regional, losing 7-1 to the #15 Oklahoma Sooners.
This game was actually close until Oklahoma broke through for three runs in the bottom of the 6th inning. Iona starter Sarah Jackson looked a bit tired at that time, and I was surprised she was still in. The Sooners did produce 15 hits, so Sarah had some long innings. She was doing a pretty good job after a very rough 1st inning which saw Oklahoma immediately load the bases. But after surrendering two runs, catcher Melanie Gettins turned a nice double play to end the inning and limit the damage. After Oklahoma took a 3-0 lead, Iona scored their first ever NCAA Tournament run when Eileen McCann singled home Chelsea Sheehan, who had led off the 3rd inning with a walk. The Gaels did subsequently load the bases in that inning, but could score no more. And that was as close as Iona would get. But as I said, they were within striking distance until the bottom of the 6th. However, Oklahoma starter Keilani Ricketts struck out an astounding 19 batters.
Iona will face Missouri State Saturday at 4:30 EDT in an elimination game. Missouri State had a surprising game against Tulsa, knocking starter Aimee Creger and her 0.79 ERA out of the game. But the Bears did lose 9-7. So the Gaels better be ready for a competitive game. If Iona should win, they would then play the loser of the Tulsa/Oklahoma game.