Kate Gordon hit a solo homer in the top of the eighth inning and Odicci Alexander threw a complete game to help James Madison stun top-seeded Oklahoma 4-3 in eight innings Thursday in the opening game of the Women’s College World Series.
It was James Madison’s first World Series game, and the Dukes (40-2) got it against a program that won national titles in 2000, 2013, 2016 and 2017 and was the runner-up in 2012 and 2019.
Alexander controlled the action. The second-team NFCA All-American threw 129 pitches and struck out nine. She faced the top of Oklahoma’s order in the eighth and escaped without allowing a run in helping the Dukes advance to a game Friday in the winners bracket against either Oklahoma State or Georgia.
Shannon Saile pitched a complete game for Oklahoma (50-3). She gave up three hits and struck out nine.
The Sooners will play the Oklahoma State-Georgia loser in an elimination game on Saturday afternoon.
Gordon’s blast in the eighth just cleared the fence in left center to give James Madison the lead. In the bottom of the inning, Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo — the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year — walked with one out but never advanced.
With help from an error, James Madison got two runners on with no outs in the third inning. Sara Jubas took advantage by cranking a three-run homer to open the scoring.
Oklahoma’s Tiare Jennings responded with a three-run blast to center to tie the score in the bottom of the inning. It was the 26th homer of the season for the NFCA Freshman of the Year, and she extended her national lead in RBIs.