May 15, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY - The 11th-ranked University of Oklahoma softball team got a sensational all-around performance from freshman Keilani Ricketts to defeat 20th-ranked Texas A&M 5-1 Saturday evening at the 2010 Big 12 Championship.
The Sooners (42-10) advance to their eighth Big 12 Championship title game facing No. 8 and fifth-seeded Missouri, who upset top-seeded Texas 11-6 in the other semifinal game.
Ricketts kept the Aggies (42-14) in check the entire evening, allowing just one run on two hits and one walk. For the second consecutive game, Ricketts fanned 12 batters. The complete game was her second of the day, bringing her season total to 24. Her 12 strikeouts in each game today are an Oklahoma Big 12 Championship record.
A&M's Meagan May broke up Ricketts' perfect game with a two-out solo home run down the right field line in the fourth inning.
The Sooners answered, tying the game in the bottom half of the frame. Amber Flores led off the inning with a double to center field and Jessica Shults walked to give OU runners on first and second with no outs. Flores and pinch runner Evan Sallis moved up on a groundout by Lindsey Vandever and Flores scored on a Haley Nix infield single.
With runners at the corners, Ricketts delivered a long-tailing home run to center field to plate Sallis and Nix and push OU out front 4-1. The Sooners added another run in the bottom of the fifth. After entering as a defensive substitution in the fourth, Krystle Huey led off the inning with a single down the right field line and advanced to second on a single by Flores. Huey then scored on a single by Shults.
Ricketts ended the game 1-for-3 at the plate with her only hit the three-run home run. Nix went 2-for-3 with a run scored and one driven in. Shults provided the other RBI with a 1-for-2 showing and drawing OU's only walk.
Oklahoma has won previously won three Big 12 Championship titles, the inaugural event in 1996 and again in 2001 and 2007. The Sooners and Tigers met in last year's championship game with Missouri winning 5-0.
The championship game airs on FSN at noon with Tracy Warren and Brenda VanLengen on the call. KREF 1400 AM will carry the game locally with Brian Brinkley on the call. Live stats and free audio are available at SoonerSports.com.