OU softball: Sooners shut out Arizona in first game of Super Regional
Astrud Reed, The Oklahoma Daily
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
vs. Arizona at 11 a.m. Saturday
The Oklahoma softball team moved one step closer to punching its ticket to the 2012 Women's College World Series with a 6-0 win over Arizona on Friday.
Junior pitcher Keilani Ricketts went the distance for the Sooners in the shutout win, collecting her 32nd victory this season while throwing nine strikeouts in seven innings.
After waiting through a week of practice, the Sooners jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after freshman first baseman Lauren Chamberlain doubled to score freshman second baseman Georgia Casey and sophomore outfielder Destinee Martinez who both got on board following a hit-by-pitch and strategically hit bunt to begin the bottom half of the first inning.
From there, the Sooner offense tacked on runs in the succeeding innings to put Arizona on their heels throughout the entire game.
"I felt like this team offensively had a good approach," coach Patty Gasso said. "I felt there were some nerves from some of our younger players, but as the game went on, I could see them starting to get over it. We just stayed on top of it."
That lead set the tempo for the entire game, allowing Ricketts to remain composed out on the mound. The ace gave up six hits and two walks but only allowed two Arizona batters to reach third base during the entire game.
"To be able to shut out a team like Arizona is really special because they are such a dynamic offense," Gasso said. "Overall, I thought it was a fantastic game on the mound."
The OU offense stayed true to its name by hitting two home runs during the win. Senior Katie Norris and Ricketts both went yard on Arizona starting pitcher Shelby Babcock, and both shots cleared both the OU Softball Complex fences in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively.
The Sooners meet Arizona for the second game of the Norman Super Regional at 11 a.m. Saturday.