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Oklahoma, Baylor Each 2 Wins From Reaching WCWS
May 22, 2014

By Wendell Barnhouse | Correspondent

As film buffs know, sequels rarely measure up. Fill In The Blank Two rarely lives up to Fill In The Blank.

For the two Big 12 Conference teams headed to NCAA Super Regional play Friday, the hope is that the sequel will at least equal or surpass the original.

Oklahoma, the No. 7 seed, takes on No. 10 seed Tennessee in a best-of-three series in Norman, Okla. The defending national champions defeated the Volunteers in two games to capture the World College World Series title.

In 2011, Baylor ventured to the Athens (Ga.) Super Regional and won the decisive Game Three with Georgia to reach the WCWS. The 13th-seeded Lady Bears are headed back Athens take on the No. 4 seed Bulldogs in another super regional showdown.

The Sooners (48-10) had to replace Keilani Ricketts, one of the greatest players in women's softball history. They also had to endure without power hitting first baseman Lauren Chamberlain, who missed 23 games with a bad back. Chamberlain also suffered a knee injury in the final regular-season series but played in last weekends' regional.

"It's exciting to think back to last year, but this is a brand new season and a different type of postseason for us," Chamberlain said. "The wins are going to look a little different."

As in OU is winning thanks to a potent lineup. The Sooners are averaging seven runs per game and hitting .327 with 80 home runs.

Baylor (45-14), conversely, leads the Big 12 with an ERA 1.53. Senior Whitney Canion was phenomenal in the Waco Regional, pitching all 32.1 innings and throwin 305 pitches in two games Sunday. The Lady Bears defeated Tulsa, 3-1, in the decisive contest.

For both Big 12 teams, the magic number is two: Win two game and advance to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Norman Super Regional
6 p.m. Friday: Tennessee vs. Oklahoma (ESPN2).
4 p.m. Saturday: Tennessee vs. Oklahoma (ESPN).
7 p.m. Saturday*: Tennessee vs. Oklahoma (ESPN2).
* - If necessary.

How they got here: Oklahoma, the No. 7 seed, won three games on their home field to advance. Tennessee, the No. 10 seed, also played on its home field and outscored three foes by a total of 26-3 to move on.

Oklahoma update: The Sooners have won 30 of their last 32 games. … Oklahoma's 10 losses this season have come against teams with an average RPI ranking of 17. … Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley are two of seven active players - and the only juniors - with 50 or more career home runs. … Sophomore Kady Self was hitting .500 over her last 22 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Tennessee update: The Lady Vols' top players included pitcher Ellen Renfroe (29-6, 1.93 ERA), freshman catcher Annie Aldrete (.373, 19 home runs, 64 RBI) and USA Softball Player of the Year finalist Madison Shipman (.431, 18 home runs, 54 RBI). … Aldrete has been named one of three finalists for the inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy. … Tennessee won its three regional games by outscoring its opponents 26-3.

What's next: The winner advances to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Athens (Ga.) Super Regional
1 p.m. Friday: Baylor vs. Georgia (ESPNU).
11 a.m. Saturday: Baylor vs. Georgia (ESPN).
2 p.m. Saturday*: Baylor vs. Georgia (ESPN).
*-If necessary.

How they got here: The Lady Bears are the No. 13 seed and won on their home field to reach the super regional. Baylor defeated Tulsa, 3-1, to capture the regional crown. Georgia is the No. 4 seed and had to battle back through the loser's bracket on its home field. The Bulldogs defeated North Carolina State, 8-0, in a winner-take-all game to advance in the bracket.

Baylor update: The Lady Bears have won 13 of their last 14 with the only loss a 3-2 decision at Texas. … Whitney Canion has 121 career wins. Her 29 victories this season are the third-most in school history. Canion has made 129 appearances, the most in Big 12 history. … Baylor is two victories from making its third Women's College World Series appearance. The Lady Bears made it to OKC in 2007 and 2011.

Georgia update: Georgia shortstop Paige Wilson had 11 hits in the Bulldogs' five regional games. … Georgia's regional championship victory over North Carolina State was a run-rule victory and pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson (33-8) threw a no hitter. … The Bulldogs hit 10 home runs in the regional including seven in the two elimination games against North Carolina State. … Georgia has 91 home runs, which is second in the nation. … The Bulldogs have reached the Super Regional six of the last seven years.

What's next: The winner advances to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.


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