Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso decided to go with Paige Lowary instead of Paige Parker to start in game one thinking that it would work out better since Florida had probably been preparing for Parker and her spin pitching instead of Lowary’s heat. Florida went with their ace and player of the year pitcher Kelly Barnhill.
After 4-1/2 scoreless innings Florida got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the 4th. But it didn’t take Oklahoma long to tie it up in the top of the 5th with their next bat. Then in the 6th Oklahoma’s Nicole Mendes got out of her batting slump hitting a home run to give Oklahoma the lead 2-1.
Just when all looked lost for Florida with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th they scored to tie the game up 2-2 and sent the game in to extra innings.
Things went scoreless in the extra innings until in the top of the 12th when Oklahoma scored two to take the lead and then in the bottom with Florida down to their last out for the second time in the game scored two runs to tie up the game 4-4 and play continued on.
In the 17th inning with 2 outs Oklahoma got a 3 run home run to take a 7-4 lead. They then held Florida to just one run in the bottom of the inning to take the win in the epic over 5 hours long game by a final score of 7-5.
It was a busy night for pitchers with Paige Parker coming in the game in relief of Paige Lowary in the 6th inning but Lowary was brought back in to try securing the last out of the game in the 12th inning but gave up two runs and the game continued on while Florida’s Kelly Barnhill went seven innings before Delanie Gourley came in the game to relieve her but then in the 16th Kelly Barnhill re-entered the game with a runner on 2nd and no outs.
The game ended up being the longest game ever played in championship history.
What a great game the way Florida kept coming back after being down to their last out several times was amazing to watch. This game will become an instant classic talked about for many years to come. But in the end their luck ran out and Oklahoma takes the 1-0 lead in the series.
Both teams go back at it again tonight in the best 2 out of 3 series to crown the 2017 champion.