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Santa Clarita well represented in NCAA softball final

Four Santa Clarita Valley softball products advance to Women’s College World Series championship

Posted: June 2, 2013 10:33 p.m.
Updated: June 2, 2013 10:33 p.m.

Oklahoma team members celebrate during a Women's College World Series game against Washington in Oklahoma City on Sunday.

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It wasn’t that long ago — 2007 to be exact — that then Hart catcher Jessica Shults was walking off the field with teammate Melissa Brown watching then-Valencia Vikings Madison Shipman celebrate a CIF-Southern Section Division I championship.

Flash forward to 2013, and Shults will have a chance to get some revenge on an even grander stage.

Shults’ Oklahoma Sooners and Shipman and Brown’s Tennessee Volunteers advanced to the Women’s College World Series championship best-of-three series starting today.

For Shults, it’s a chance to finally get the best of Shipman.

For Brown it’s a chance to experience what the Vikings felt that day.

And for Shipman, it’s a chance to do it all over again.

Also involved in the action will be Canyon High graduate Brittany Williams, who plays for Oklahoma.

Here’s how they made it:

Oklahoma 6, Washington 2

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lauren Chamberlain and Keilani Ricketts homered, speedster Brianna Turang scored twice and top-seeded Oklahoma beat Washington 6-2 on Sunday night to reach the finals of the Women’s College World Series.

Turang tripled to lead off the third inning and scored when Kaitlin Inglesby (23-9) threw her next pitch too high for catcher Shawna Wright to handle even after she stood up. Chamberlain hit her 29th home run two pitches later, and Ricketts tacked on a drive into the bleachers in right-center field to make it 3-0.

Shults was 1-for-3 in the game and Williams was 1-for-4.

Kylee Lahners broke up a no-hit bid by Ricketts (34-1) by hitting the national player of the year’s first pitch of the fifth inning over the center-field fence. The 11th-seeded Huskies (45-17) got to 4-2 on Shelby Pendley’s throwing error.

The Sooners (55-4) and Tennessee will open the best-of-3 finals series Monday night.

Tennessee 2, Texas 1

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lauren Gibson hit a solo home run in the first inning, Tennessee’s Renfroe sisters combined on a five-hitter shutout and the Lady Vols reached the Women’s College World Series finals by beating Texas 2-1 on Sunday night.

Blaire Luna (31-7) struck out 12 in her second complete game of the day for fourth-seeded Texas (51-10). She forced in a run in the sixth when she hit Cheyanne Tarango with a pitch and issued three walks.

Shipman started at shortstop in the game and went 1-for-4 at the plate.

Brown was 0-for-2 with a walk as Tennesee’s left fielder.

Seventh-seeded Tennessee (52-10) is in the finals for the second time. The Lady Vols were beaten in three games by Arizona in 2007, winning Game 1 before Monica Abbott took a shutout into extra innings in a Game 2 loss.

Pinch-hitter Lindsey Stephens led off the seventh by homering to center field off of Ellen Renfroe, who had relieved older sister Ivy Renfroe (22-4) to get out of a jam in the fifth.

It’s the second time reaching the championship round for the Lady Vols, who were beaten in three games by Arizona in 2007 — winning Game 1 before Monica Abbott took a shutout into extra innings in a Game 2 loss.

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