The Oklahoma Sooners (59-1) are still on track to win their third consecutive Women’s College World Series title after a strong showing from second baseman Tiare Jennings.
The defending champions took on the Stanford Cardinal in the semifinals on Monday, needing just one win to qualify for the championship series. Those high stakes came on Jennings’ 21st birthday, which was initially shaping up to be tough.
She started the day 0 for 4, being struck out twice by Stanford pitcher NiJaree Canady. But with the score tied 2-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Jennings looked better than ever.
Just before she was ready for her next at bat, Canady chose to intentionally walk Jayda Coleman. For a moment, it seemed like the right decision. Jennings started 0-2, committing the third pitch. Then, a curveball gave her an opportunity, and she hit a two-RBI clutch double to give Oklahoma a 4-2 lead.
In addition to her kill shot for the Sooners’ 51st straight win, she also tied the WCWS record for career RBI. After the win, Jennings said his birthday couldn’t have been better.
Oklahoma will face No. 3 Florida State or No. 4 Tennessee in the national championship best-of-three series. It will seek to become the first program to win three consecutive titles since UCLA in 1988-90. The final push for that effort begins on Wednesday.