Big 12

Oklahoma defends softball title with 5-4 win over Florida

Oklahoma’s Kelsey Arnold, left, celebrates with teammates Melanie Olmos (18) and Macey Hatfield (6) after scoring in the second inning of the second game of the best-of-three championship series in the NCAA Women’s College World Series against Florida in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
Oklahoma’s Kelsey Arnold, left, celebrates with teammates Melanie Olmos (18) and Macey Hatfield (6) after scoring in the second inning of the second game of the best-of-three championship series in the NCAA Women’s College World Series against Florida in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. AP

Shay Knighten hit a three-run double in the second inning and Oklahoma defended its NCAA softball title with a 5-4 win over Florida on Tuesday night.

Knighten, who hit a three-run homer in the 17th inning to help win Game 1 on Monday, was selected the World Series’ Most Outstanding Player.

The Sooners (61-9) took both games from Florida in the best-of-three series to earn their third NCAA title in five years.

Oklahoma freshman Mariah Lopez (18-1) got the win in relief of Truman High School graduate Paige Parker. Missouri transfer Paige Lowary stepped in and retired Florida in order in the seventh.

Florida pitcher Kelly Barnhill, USA Softball’s National Collegiate Player of the Year, did not play. Florida coach Tim Walton went with No. 3 pitcher Alesia Ocasio (8-2), and she got the loss. Delaney Gourley was solid in relief for the Gators (58-10).

Oklahoma had just one senior in its lineup and has no senior pitchers.

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