Softball Outlasts Fresno State, 4-3

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 17, 2006

FULLERTON, Calif. Despite two rain delays lasting a total of three hours, the No. 14 Oklahoma softball team picked up its second win at the Judi Garman Classic with a 4-3 victory over No. 24 Fresno State in Fullerton, Calif. Although the game duration was only two hours, the Sooners were on the field for approximately five hours with both rain delays.

OU avenged a loss to the Bulldogs two weeks ago and pushed its record to 22-7-1 on the year while Fresno State fell to 17-11.

Freshman hurler D.J. Mathis guided the Sooners.  The lefty allowed no earned runs in her third straight appearance and gave up only three hits while fanning two in 4.2 innings. Mathis improved her ERA to a team-best 1.54 and pushed her record to 7-1, another staff best.

Box Score

Sophomore pitcher Stacy Braddock relieved Mathis in the bottom of the fourth and threw the final two and one-third innings. Both pitchers held the Bulldogs scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when Robin Mackin pounded a three-run homer to left center field with two outs to close the gap to 4-3.

Braddock retired the final batter and finished the game with a line of two hits and three runs, all unearned, while fanning three.

Offensively, OU recorded six hits to Fresno State’s five.

Oklahoma wasted no time in the top of the first as Amber Spaulding reached base after being hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a Kristin Vesely single and an error by Fresno shortstop Christina Clark. Next, clean-up batter Samantha Ricketts pounded a foul sacrifice fly to right field to score Spaulding and score the first run of the game to give OU the 1-0 lead.

It was Ricketts again in the top of the third as the freshman catcher sent a two-run homer sailing past deep right center field to give the Sooners the 3-0 edge. It marked Ricketts’ fifth home run of the season.

Oklahoma opened it up in the top of the fifth frame as Spaulding, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, drilled her team-leading seventh home run of the season over the left field fence to bring the Sooners’ lead to 4-0.

In addition to Spaulding, Ricketts and Vesely each tallying a hit, sophomore Savannah Long led the team with two hits, including her eighth double of the season. Freshman Traci Dickenson also added a single in the second inning.

Bulldog pitcher Robin Mackin, who led Fresno State to a 4-2 win over the Sooners in the Palm Springs Classic, fell to 14-7 on the year after allowing four runs, three unearned, on six hits.

With the win, Oklahoma finished with a 2-1 record in pool play and receives a No. 2 seed heading into tournament play on Saturday. Oklahoma will match up with No. 18 Texas A&M, who received a No. 1 seed in its pool after upsetting No. 1 Arizona on Thursday.

The Sooners and Aggies will meet at 6 p.m. (CST) on Saturday with the winner moving on to the semi final game at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. The loser will play at 10:30 p.m. Saturday night in the consolation bracket.



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