James Madison softball

James Madison celebrates following a Women's College World Series softball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, June 3, 2021. James Madison beat top-seeded Oklahoma 4-3 in eight inning. (Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma State’s next opponent in the Women’s College World Series might be unseeded, but it won’t surprise anyone after Thursday.

James Madison knocked off No. 1 Oklahoma, 4-3, in the opening game of the tournament. It took a solo home run in the eighth inning to defeat the Sooners, but the Dukes are on everyone’s radar moving into the second day of the eight team, double elimination tournament.

The Dukes held OU to its lowest run total of the season. The other previous low was four runs in a loss to OSU on May 7. All three opponents who have defeated OU are on their side of the WCWS bracket.

James Madison (40-2) has only played Power Five Conference schools in the postseason since its season opener against Virginia, but it’s won four out of five of those games. All four were against teams seeded No. 9 or better in the NCAA Tournament.

Kate Gordon hit the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning. It was her 19th HR of the season. Gordon is hitting .364 on the season and has played in 41 of 42 games this year.

The Dukes took a 3-0 lead over the Sooners on a three-run blast by Sara Jubas. She has hit 11 home runs this season and is batting .404, playing in all 42 games.

James Madison has depended upon the arm of Odicci Alexander in the postseason. She has pitched the past eight games, winning seven of those contests. 

Alexander (17-1, 1.23 ERA) has allowed a combined 34 hits and 20 runs – only 15 of which were earned – in those eight games. She has allowed just 19 walks while striking out 69 batters during that span.

Alexander gave up six hits and three runs, with two walks and nine strikeouts in the win over OU. 

OSU and JMU will face off at 6 p.m. Friday at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.

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