Florida State, Oklahoma overcome odds to advance to WCWS Finals

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Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo (78) is greeted by teammates after hitting a home run in the sixth inning of an NCAA Women’s College World Series softball game against James Madison, Monday, June 7, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

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Alexander, who pitched complete games in wins over Oklahoma and No. 5 seed Oklahoma State to reach the semifinals, lasted into the fifth inning Monday. The crowd of mostly Oklahoma fans gave a tearful Alexander a standing ovation as she left the field.

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“It was amazing,” she said. “I mean, it’s more than just a game. To see them all clapping for me and cheering me on, I mean, it was a great moment, and it warmed my heart.”

Juarez was impressed with Alexander.

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“Game recognizes game, and she is a baller,” Juarez said. “I have mad respect for her, and she gave everything she had and I think it’s really awesome that they did give her that standing ovation. She earned it. She deserves it.”

It was the first World Series appearance for James Madison (41-4), the Colonial Athletic Association champion. Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said James Madison and coach Loren LaPorte gave softball a boost.

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“I think singlehandedly James Madison made our sport better because they brought a lot of people in that wanted to watch them,” Gasso said. “I think that’s the ultimate compliment I could give a coach and a program.”

Juarez, or “G” as she often goes by, allowed four hits in the complete game. Kate Gordon drove the left-hander’s first pitch over the wall in left, riling up the small group of loyal purple-clad fans behind the team’s dugout, but it was all Juarez from there.

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