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JMU stuns No. 1 Oklahoma, a softball powerhouse, in dramatic College World Series win
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JMU stuns No. 1 Oklahoma, a softball powerhouse, in dramatic College World Series win

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James Madison Missouri Softball

James Madison pitcher Odicci Alexander entered the WCWS 5-1 in the NCAA softball tournament with four complete games. Her season record is 16-1 with a 1.14 ERA.

Apparently Cinderella throws a mean riseball.

James Madison, led by pitcher Odicci Alexander, stunned the softball world on Thursday afternoon with a 4-3 extra-innings victory over No. 1 Oklahoma at the Women's College World Series.

The Dukes, unseeded entering the tournament, have bristled at their victories to this point being described as upsets, but this one was closer to impossible than improbable.

The Sooners, playing in front of a partisan crowd of 12,500 in Oklahoma City, have won two of the last four national titles, and have appeared in the world series every year since 2011. This year's team has been described as one of the best in NCAA history.

Entering Thursday, they averaged 12 runs per game in the tournament, and had struck out just 12 times total.

That was before they ran into Alexander.

She logged eight strikeouts in the first seven innings, including the 700th of her career, buying time for the Dukes' best hitter to deliver in the biggest moment.

Senior slugger Kate Gordon hit her 69th career home run in the top of the eighth inning, setting a new CAA career record and putting the Dukes on top.

The Dukes' other runs came on a three-run home run by Sara Jubas in the third inning.

It was only the second time in the history of the Women's College World Series that the No. 1 seed has lost its opening game.

The double-elimination tournament still has a ways to go, but the Dukes position themselves well with the victory.

JMU next plays Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU against the winner of the Georgia-Oklahoma St. game set to take place Thursday afternoon.

mphillips@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6546

Twitter: @michaelpRTD

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