Softball Moments Of The Decade: Game-Saving Plays
1. The Home Run Queen
With the game tied at three in the bottom of the 12th, Lauren Chamberlain sent a walk-off home run whizzing past the left field foul pole to give Oklahoma a 5-3 win and 1-0 lead in the 2013 WCWS Championship Series. The home run was Chamberlain’s 30th of the season and 60th of her career. With it, she became the second player in NCAA D-I history to have multiple 30-homer seasons. She went on to set the NCAA record for career home runs with 95 two years later.
2. Big Play Shay
All of the home runs. Shay Knighten always stepped up when the Sooners needed her the most. As a freshman, she hit a walk-off, three-run homer against Alabama in her first WCWS game. Her sophomore year against Florida, she hit the game-winning, three-run home run in the 17th inning. Last year, as a senior, she hit a game-tying solo shot against UCLA in the WCWS Championship Series. There were so many other big moments throughout her career, but these three home runs will remain as some of the most clutch at-bats in WCWS history.
3 (tie). Robbery
When Auburn played in its first WCWS Championship Series, left fielder Tiffany Howard made a play that most dream of. With Auburn down 1-0 in the series and the game tied at seven in the top of the sixth, Oklahoma’s Shay Knighten launched a ball that most thought was gone until Howard jumped, reached over and brought back in to end the inning and save Auburn’s season. The Tigers went on to load the bases and won on a walk-off grand slam from Emily Carosone.
3 (tie). The Gold Glove
Runner on first, nobody out and Washington attempts to bunt the runner over. Florida State’s Jessie Warren comes diving out of nowhere to catch the ball in mid-air and double up the runner on first. The Seminoles were up 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh at that point and Warren made a Top 10 play that preserved the Game 1 victory for FSU.