Oklahoma players cheer in the dugout in the first inning of the first game of the best-of-three championship series against Florida in the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma softball triumphs over Florida in 17 innings

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Shay Knighten’s three-run homer off Kelly Barnhill in the top of the 17th inning gave Oklahoma a 7-5 victory over Florida in Game 1 of the championship series on Monday night.

The matchup between programs that have split the past four national titles was the longest championship series game in NCAA history. It lasted 5 1/2 hours, and all four pitchers threw more than 100 pitches.

Oklahoma (60-9) can clinch a repeat Tuesday in Game 2 of the best-of-three series.

Paige Lowary (16-3) got the start, was replaced, then re-entered to claim the win. Paige Parker pitched 6 2/3 innings of relief.

Barnhill (26-4), USA Softball’s National Collegiate Player of the Year, took the loss for Florida (58-9). She pitched nine innings and struck out 13. Delanie Gourley struck out 13 in eight innings of relief.

The Sooners scored the first earned runs top-seeded Florida has allowed in four World Series games.