3-time defending champ Oklahoma beats Florida State 11-3 in super regional opener

Three-time defending national champion Oklahoma is one win away from going back to the Women’s College World Series

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Three-time defending national champion Oklahoma is one win away from going back to the Women's College World Series.

Alyssa Brito went 3 for 3 with two homers and the second-seeded Sooners beat No. 15 seed Florida State 11-3 in six innings in Game 1 of the best-of-three Norman Super Regional on Thursday night.

Kasidi Pickering had two hits for the Sooners (53-6), who got 11 hits from eight players.

Sooners coach Patty Gasso said this was the best she has seen her team hit this season.

“Top to bottom, it’s hard to breathe when you’re facing these guys, when they’re really feeling it," she said. "It’s probably the first time in a long while that I felt top to bottom, we were taking really great swings and now it looks really good.”

Oklahoma ace Kelli Maxwell (20-2) went the distance for the win. She gave up three runs on four hits in five innings. Gasso said she was glad to see Maxwell fight through some tough innings. Florida State left eight runners on.

“It’s a victory," Gasso said. "Nobody knows probably what I’m talking about. But for Kelly to stay through that and fight through that and throw over 100 pitches -- that’s a victory for her.”

Florida State loaded the bases in the first with two outs but did not score against Maxwell.

Oklahoma's Tiare Jennings hit a homer in the first, the 95th of her career. That tied her for second in school history with Lauren Chamberlain and moved her into a tie for third in Division I history.

Oklahoma tacked on a run in the second, but Florida State's Devyn Flaherty singled in the third to knock in two runs and tie the score.

Brito’s solo shot in the third highlighted a three-run inning that put the Sooners up 5-2.

Florida State got two on with no outs against Maxwell in the fourth and again failed to score.

Florida State starter Ashtyn Danley lasted just two innings after giving up five runs on six hits. Brito took new pitcher Emma Wilson out of the park in the fourth for a two-run blast that gave the Sooners a 7-2 edge. Kinzie Hansen followed with a two-run shot to make it 9-2.

The Seminoles won the national title in 2018 and lost to Oklahoma in the championship series in 2021 and 2023. That's why Gasso expects Florida State to play better on Friday in Game 2.

“I don’t expect that we’re going to have a game like we did today because they’re too competitive," Gasso said, "They’re too well coached. They’ve been here before. They know what this feels like. They’re going to fight.”

In the Los Angeles Super Regional, Maya Brady hit two solo homers to help No. 6 UCLA beat No. 11 Georgia 8-0.

Brady went 3-for-4 and scored three runs and Jadelyn Allchin had three hits and scored twice for the Bruins

Kaitlyn Terry (21-1) threw a four-hitter. She struck out five and threw 93 pitches.

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports