For the fourth time since 1999, DePaul's softball team will play in the Women's College World Series after a 7-2 victory over Oklahoma on Sunday earned a NCAA Super Regional series sweep and moved to the Blue Demons to the final eight and an appearance in Oklahoma City.
The victory sends No. 14 seed DePaul to 46-11 and ends No. 3 seed Oklahoma's season at 55-8.
DePaul struck first with a run in the opening inning. Second baseman Sandy Vojik led off the game with a triple and scored on a ground out by the next hitter, Amber Patton.
Oklahoma, which was the visiting team in the contest, responded with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Solo home runs by Jame Fox and Lindsey Vandever gave the Sooners their only lead of the Super Regional.
The lead lasted until the third inning when the Blue Demons posted four runs off Oklahoma's Lauren Eckermann. The go-ahead run scored on a double by designated player Jackie Tarulli-Fisher. That was followed by a two-run homer off the bat of Kate Sheaks, her eighth of the season.
After the Sooners' Samantha Ricketts led off the fourth inning with a single, DePaul pulled starter Becca Heteniak and went to Saturday's winning pitcher Tracie Adix and she held Oklahoma hitless during the final four innings, allowing only two base runners, one on a walk and the other on an infield error.
Adix was credited with the win and improved to 21-2 on the season. Eckermann was credited with the loss and finishes 37-5. Eckermann allowed five earned runs on six hits over 2.2 innings of work.
DePaul improved to a perfect 4-0 in NCAA Super Regional play since the format was started in 2005. This will also be the Blue Demons' fourth trip to the Women's College World Series joining the 1999, 2000 and 2005 DePaul squads.
Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso
On the game:
"Give credit to DePaul. They were outstanding again. They remind us of us when we are really on. They have good pitching, great defense and outstanding hitting. They had all cylinders working."
On the OU team:
"I am proud of this team and all their accomplishments. It's a season I'll always remember. The seniors set a great example and precedence for our younger ones to follow. Nothing about what we did was very timely. We had a couple big home runs and a couple of others in scoring position and nothing came out of it. Coming from UMass into here, we were not really on fire. We tried, but I didn't happen. No timely hits, missed a pitch and they hit it hard. I was proud of the fact that they laid their hearts on the line. To make it to the College World Series you need a lot of things to work for you and it didn't happen."
"Honestly, I think DePaul is so on fire. They are one of those destiny teams. DePaul made every play. They didn't give you anything."
On the seniors:
"Because of them, I am excited about what we have in the future. They have taught everyone so much. I want them to be able to come back and watch and say that's the Sooners I know, that's the Sooners I love. "
Junior pitcher Lauren Eckermann
"They are a great lineup of powerful hitters. I wouldn't say it snowballed and I don't think we got flustered. That's what this team has been great about all year. With every loss you think of things you could of done better. I was giving it my best. Everyone out there was giving it their all."
On the returners:
"We have great people coming back. All the seniors were great leaders on and off the field. I look back at the season and what went well and what went bad. Take it and apply it. "
Senior Third Baseman Norrelle Dickson
On her career:
"Its been a blast. I have had a great career. So thankful I made this decision. I always have a home here with the Sooners. I don't think it's really soaked in. This is my family. I will always have these girls and the staff to lean on. The game is going to change for me and I won't have the same team. I'm thankful for everything I have accomplished here. You wouldn't have seen the same Norrelle Dickson if I wouldn't of come here. I will just cherish all these memories. "
Senior Outfielder Jamie Fox
On her career:
"It's been the experience of a lifetime. I am so thankful for the opportunity. God's given me the opportunity to be here, far from home, and like Norrelle, I don't think anywhere else would of been so perfect. You can't find it anywhere else other than the University of Oklahoma. It is a special group and it ended earlier than we expected but that just fires them up even more for next year and I'm excited to watch them next year. "
DePaul head coach Eugene Lenti
On the game:
"I don't know what to say. This is overwhelming. This is our fourth Women's College World Series and it never gets old, only better. Oklahoma is a great team. They showed their guts and grit. Give us credit, we bent but didn't break."
On pitcher Tracie Adix:
"She is 21-2. She proved today she is one of the best pitchers in the country. It's pretty impressive. She showed a lot of heart. Pro teams are calling and that's how good she is."
Leftfielder Kate Sheaks
On the team's performance:
"This was definitely a team performance. Our team was very well prepared by our coaches and we could not have asked for anything else. Our seniors led the way with their play and as a team we are playing very well and very loose."
Pitcher Tracie Adix:
On next week's opponents:
"There are going to be a lot of great teams next week. I believe with the way I am pitching I will be able to show everyone what I can do. I can be dominant if I continue to prepare and play the way I have."
DePaul Softball Advances to World Series
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