MOORE — The chant reaching near-deafening levels, Lauren Chamberlain finally realized what she was supposed to do.
Moments after blasting a three-run home run that broke open what had been a close regional final, the sophomore tepidly stepped up out of the dugout and waved to the home crowd, enjoying the first curtain call of her career.
“I’ve only ever seen it at baseball games,” Chamberlain said. “It was pretty cool.”
So cool, in fact, that most of the Sooners didn’t even know what the gesture was called when coach Patty Gasso asked them about it in the locker room after the Sooners completed a 14-1 victory over Arkansas to win the regional final and advance to next week’s Super Regional, where they will play No. 16 Texas A&M at home.
“I asked them if they had ever seen a curtain call in softball and they had no idea what I was talking about,” Gasso said.
Chamberlain, who finished the regional weekend with 13 RBIs, was the first Sooner to receive the honor on Sunday. But she wasn’t the last, as the standing-room crowd called back out several Sooners throughout the game to receive their admiration.
“I don’t know that our fans have always been as vocal, but they were on this weekend,” Gasso said. “It’s fun. Our crowd was great. You could feel them all weekend.”
They had reason to be. Capitalizing on an error in right field that allowed two runners to score and stretch OU’s lead to 3-0 in the third inning, the Sooners jumped on the Razorbacks. After Brianna Turang walked, Chamberlain followed up with a three-run shot that put the Sooners firmly in control.
And they didn’t let go. Despite several Arkansas pitching changes the Sooners continued to pour it on, adding another six runs in the fourth inning and two in the fifth, helped by home runs by Shelby Pendley and Javen Henson.