Florida ousts Huskers in WCWS

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Lauren Haeger and Jessica Damico scored on shortstop Alicia Armstrong's fielding error in the 15th inning, and No. 2 seed Florida eliminated Nebraska from the Women's College World Series with a 9-8 victory Saturday night.

It ended up as the fifth game to go 15 innings or longer at the Women's College World Series, and was tied for the fourth longest. The longest game, in 1984, lasted 25 innings between Texas A&M and Cal Poly, won by the Aggies.

This one lasted 5 hours, 20 minutes. Four pitchers combined to throw 534 pitches.

Armstrong was able to get in front of Taylore Fuller's sharp grounder up the middle, but it hopped up and hit her before careening into center field.

The 14th-seeded Cornhuskers (45-16) scored once in the bottom of the 15th, but their chance for a third tying rally ended with Tatum Edwards getting called out at third base when her foot came off the bag after she touched it ahead of the initial tag.

"I don't know that you could ask for anything more if you're a fan and I know that you couldn't ask for anything more as a coach on either side, in either dugout," Cornhuskers coach Rhonda Revelle said. "It's a shame that someone has to lose that, but I don't really feel like anybody lost it because both teams just fought tooth and nail."

Nebraska had scored three times in the seventh to force extra innings, and Taylor Edwards tied it again in the 10th with a home run to match Briana Little's solo shot in the top half of the inning.

It was the longest game since 1994, when Oklahoma State beat Cal State-Northridge 3-2 in 15 innings.

Florida advanced to face Washington in another elimination game Sunday.

Armstrong doubled to lead off the bottom of the 15th and scored after back-to-back groundouts. Tatum Edwards then drew a walk, fouling off a full-count pitch before taking ball four. Gabby Banda's grounder glanced off of Florida pitcher Hannah Rogers and into left field, where Little fielded it and threw to third base.

Replays showed Tatum Edwards made it to the base, with Stephanie Tofft blocking it, ahead of the throw. Tatum Edwards, Taylor's twin sister, remained face down on the infield dirt for a few moments after the final out.

"I don't think she touched the bag," Tofft said. "I think she got my whole knee, that's about it."

Haeger (16-2) gave up one run on three hits in seven innings of relief, taking over at the start of the eighth inning. Rogers, who started the game, re-entered and got the save.

"If that wasn't one of the best, most exciting games at the World Series -- I don't know about ever. But it was one of the most exciting games I think I've ever coached," Gators coach Tim Walton said. "I'm really proud of our team."

After Nebraska took a 2-0 lead in the fourth, the SEC champion Gators (58-8) answered right back while taking advantage of three straight defensive miscues on infield grounders.

After Tofft's one-out RBI single, Haeger reached on a fielder's choice when Banda was unable to tag Kirsti Merritt on her way to third base.

Tatum Edwards (30-10) then fielded Kelsey Horton's dribbler and threw home too late for a force-out, allowing the tying run to score. Two more runs scored on Fuller's grounder when Armstrong spiked her throw to second into the dirt for an error.

Hailey Decker homered and had a run-scoring sacrifice fly for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers tied it in the seventh on Taylor Edwards' RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Brooke Thomason that brought two runs home. Banda was caught in a rundown, but managed to score when Tofft chased her toward home plate and the ball popped out of her glove in a diving tag attempt.

"I actually thought I was out. I was crying on the plate because I thought I was out," Banda said. "But then I saw Brooke (Thomason) and she was yelling at me and she says, 'You're safe! You're safe!' I was like, 'Oh my God!'

"So, then I just kept crying because we tied it. It was a cry either way moment."

Oklahoma 10, Texas 2

For the second straight game in the WCWS, Oklahoma didn't panic when it fell behind early. Now the Sooners are one step away from a return trip to the finals.

Down 2-0, the Sooners responded with a six-run third inning and eventually run-ruled Big 12 rival Texas 10-2 in five innings in a winners' bracket game.

Callie Parsons drove in three runs and Keilani Ricketts threw a three-hitter for Oklahoma (54-4), which won for the third time in four meetings this season against Texas. The Sooners will play Michigan, Arizona State or Washington on Sunday night, needing one win in two opportunities to advance to the best-of-3 finals.

"Every game is the biggest game that you play, but this (winners' bracket) game is the biggest game there is, because it puts you in a position to have someone have to beat you twice," said Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso, whose team has outscored opponents 76-11 during the NCAA postseason. "I think right now with the way we're playing, that would be difficult for any team here to do."

Texas (50-9) will face No. 2 seed Florida in an elimination game Sunday.

"They're a good ballclub," Texas coach Connie Clark said. "We're a good ballclub. When you're facing teams at the World Series, you can't give them that many seams. We gave them a lot of extra opportunities today by issuing free passes and a couple of very uncharacteristic errors."

Oklahoma fell behind 1-0 in its WCWS opener against Michigan before winning 7-1 and the Sooners followed a similar script Saturday.

Ricketts (33-1) hadn't given up a hit in the tournament until Stephanie Ceo and Brejae Washington singled to key a two-run third inning for the Longhorns. Texas would have scored more had Oklahoma centerfielder Destinee Martinez not run down Mandy Ogle's two-out, bases-loaded blast to the warning track.

The Sooners quickly responded against Texas pitchers Blaire Luna (31-6) and Kim Bruins to seize control.

Ricketts started the rally with an RBI double. Parsons later delivered a one-out single to centerfield to score pinch-runner Erica Sampson and Brittany Williams. No. 9 batter Brianna Turang then bunted and Bruins' throw to first base instead sailed into right field, allowing Martinez, Parsons and the speedy Turang to score, making it 6-2.

"I definitely rushed the throw," Bruins said. "I had more time than I thought."

Tennessee 1, Washington 0

No. 9 hitter Tory Lewis singled up the middle to score pinch-runner Whitney Hammond with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Tennessee beat Washington in the winners' bracket.

"Our kids fought from the very beginning," Tennessee co-coach Ralph Weekly said. "It's all about timely hitting and it took us awhile to get that timely hit, but the kids never quit. They never got their heads down and they never stopped fighting."

Ellen Renfroe (19-4) allowed two hits and struck out 10 for Tennessee, which will next face a team from the losers' bracket.

Tennessee (51-10) stranded 13 runners through six innings against Washington's Kaitlin Inglesby (23-8), leaving the bases loaded three times. In the seventh, Cheyanne Tarango reached on an infield single and Hammond ran for her.

"I thought we played a great game," Washington coach Heather Tarr said. "We dealt with some things that, I think, a lot of teams would have folded with, with regards to a really tight strike zone. So be it. That's what it was. I thought Kaitlyn Inglesby threw a great game and threw obviously well enough for us to win. Unfortunately, offensively, we couldn't string anything together."

Melissa Brown sacrificed Hammond to second base. Rainey Gaffin walked and Hannah Akamine lined out to Inglesby, who unsuccessfully tried to double Gaffin off first base. Hammond took advantage and raced to third base, setting up Lewis' game-winning hit.

Michigan 2, Arizona State 0

Sierra Romero hit a two-run homer and that was all the Wolverines needed to beat the Sun Devils in an elimination game. It was the first time this season that Arizona State had been shut out. Michigan advances to play Washington in an elimination game Sunday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.