It couldn’t have been scripted any better if it was a Hollywood movie as the 2017 NCAA softball season got off with a bang. In a rematch of last years Women’s College World Series championship defending national champions Oklahoma took on Auburn at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge event held in Mexico.
Luckily for softball fans who couldn’t take a vacation to Mexico the game was broadcast on ESPNU for all who wanted to see it.
Missouri transfer pitcher Paige Lowary got the start for Oklahoma while Makayla Martin took the mound for Auburn. Both pitchers had good games with Lowary throwing a full game while Martin made it to the 7th inning when Kaylee Carlson came in to finish the game up after Oklahoma started a last inning rally and pulled to within one run of Auburn.
It was a game of differing plans for the two teams. Auburn’s plan was to be patient and make the Sooner’s pitcher work hard waiting for the right pitch. Lowary had a pitch count of over 100 by the 4th inning while Auburn’s Martin was only in the 50’s with her pitch count. Oklahoma’s game plan was to make contact with the ball and see what happens. They did do that but unfortunately for them it was often right to Auburn players ready to make the play for the out.
While most people were looking for Auburn star player Kasey Cooper to do big things in the game it was sophomore Kendall Veach who got to Oklahoma with 2 home runs including what turned out to be the game winning one in the top of the 7th.
The final game score was 3-2 with Auburn winning.
In early season games that often pit top tier teams against opponents that don’t stand a chance of winning it was nice to see a match up of two top ranked teams. Even though its early in the season a win is a win and gives Auburn a little bit of victory mouthwash to get rid of the taste of defeat that they’ve had to carry all off season with their lost last year in the championship series to Oklahoma.