OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — James Madison has done it again.
A day after stunning top-seeded Oklahoma, the Dukes beat No. 5 Oklahoma State 2-1 on Friday night in the Women’s College World Series.
After claiming the two wins against Big 12 teams within an hour of their campuses, the unseeded Dukes — champions of the Colonial Athletic Association — are one victory from reaching the best-of-three championship series.
Odicci Alexander pitched complete-game victories in both contests. She threw 129 pitches against Oklahoma, then 95 more against the Cowgirls.
She’s looking for more.
“Rest up, just keep embracing each and every one of these moments,” Alexander said. “I can’t say that enough. I’m just so happy to be here and bring that fight, heart, passion, grit, all that when we play next.”
Oklahoma State (48-11) will play Arizona or Florida State in an elimination game on Saturday night.
“We just got to clear it,” Oklahoma State pitcher Kelly Maxwell said. “It happens. They’re a great team. But we just got to come out tomorrow and be ready to go do what’s us and not who we’re playing, take it to the other team.”
Alexander helped her pitching situation by getting on base with a walk in the first inning. Two batters later, Madison Naujokas reached on an infield single, and a throwing error by Oklahoma State pitcher Carrie Eberle allowed Alexander to score.
The Cowgirls had two on and one out in the second, but didn’t score.
James Madison’s Kate Gordon hit a homer for the second consecutive day. Her solo shot in the third inning gave the Dukes (41-2) a 2-0 lead.
Eberle was hit in the lower left leg by a line drive in the third inning, but she stayed in the game.
Oklahoma State finally got on the board in the fifth, when Chelsea Alexander singled and Reagan Wright beat a throw home.
Oklahoma State went to the bullpen in the fifth when Eberle got in trouble, and Maxwell got out of the jam without allowing a run. Maxwell pitched two perfect innings and struck out five.
Oklahoma State had one last shot in the seventh. Karli Petty was hit by a pitch to start the inning, then pinch runner Scotland David stole second.
David was caught in a rundown between second and third after an Oklahoma State bunt. James Madison was called for obstruction, so Petty ended up on third.
Odicci Alexander charged a bunt, picked it up and delivered a leaping tag on David coming home for the second out.
“It was a tough situation,” Odicci Alexander said. “Runners were at second and third, and I kind of knew they were going to do something like that, so just being focused, and I mean, I kind of saw her in my peripheral and I really didn’t have time to flip it to Lauren (Bernett), so I just went for it.”
Alexander got the next batter to pop out, and the Dukes advanced to the semifinals.
“It is undescribable, this feeling, how far we have taken it, how far we have gone, and I think it just speaks to our program,” James Madison third baseman Lynsey Meeks said. “All the hard work that we have put in in the offseason, it’s finally showing and I couldn’t be more proud of these girls and what we’re accomplishing out on this big stage.”
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.