OU softball: Ricketts burns the Bears with 16 strikeouts in 3-0 win
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Oklahoma ace Keilani Ricketts shut down top-seeded California, hurling 16 strikeouts in the 3-0 win to advance in the winner’s bracket of the 2012 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
How the Sooners won:
• Untouchable Ricketts. The junior ace picked up right where she left off against South Florida, firing three strikeouts to retire the side in the first. She had 11 Ks through the first four innings, making it hard for Cal to get any offense momentum.
• Infectious offensive performance. After leaving two runners on base in the top of second, the Sooners earned a walk and a single by sophomore Destinee Martinez to put runners on early before getting into the meat of the batting order. OU then scored the first run of the game in top of the third on a RBI-double by freshman Lauren Chamberlain.
• Free bases. Cal staring pitcher Jolene Henderson did well to keep the Sooners from enjoying the long ball, but her team's three defense errors and Henderson’s four walks gave OU offensive momentum that turned into runs.
Key stat: Ricketts had a World Series-high 16 strikeouts in the shutout against Cal. The Sooner ace has not given up an earned run through two complete games — 40 innings — in this year’s WCWS.
Key performer: Chamberlain continued her WCWS hitting spree, going 2-of-4 with the RBI double that plated OU’s winning run.
Key opponent: Due to Ricketts’ dominance on the mound, Henderson was OU’s biggest threat Friday. The junior ace finished with six strikeouts and gave up two earned runs in her third loss of the season.
What it means: In order to be the No. 1 team at the end, OU had to take down top seed in the tournament at some point — and there was no better time than Friday night. Sooners now can enjoy the perks of remaining in the winner’s bracket and won’t play again until noon Sunday.
"Keilani Ricketts was the best I had ever seen her today," OU coach Patty Gasso said. "She threw a similar kind of game against Arizona in the super regional. I was also proud of our offense and how we found ways to get on base."
"We just stayed with pitches that were working today," Ricketts said about her pitching success. "I just continued to hit my spots because against Cal, they could capitalize on any mistakes that I might make."