May 21, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The 11th-ranked University of Oklahoma softball team scored early and often as the Sooners rolled past Syracuse (32-25), 10-0, in five innings on Saturday afternoon at Robert E. Taylor Stadium. Oklahoma (44-10) advances to play the winner of Friday evening’s Fordham/Maryland contest at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday.
Freshman starter Keilani Ricketts (29-8) was spectacular in her NCAA Championship debut. Ricketts retired the first 10 batters she faced and allowed just one hit to the 13 total batters faced. She had her perfect game broken up by a bunt single in the fourth but got the next two outs to end the frame. Ricketts struck out seven and did not allow a walk. Michelle Gascoigne struck out all three batters faced in the top of the fifth to secure the run rule victory for Oklahoma.
The Sooner offense capitalized on several Syracuse miscues to jump on the board early. Amber Flores drew a one-out walk and Jessica Shults singled to put two runners aboard for OU in the bottom of the first. Both runners advanced one base on a wild pitch and Flores scored the Sooners’ first run on a line drive sacrifice fly by Lindsey Vandever. Shults was then awarded home on an illegal pitch to push the lead to 2-0 after one complete.
In the second, Ricketts reached on a hit by pitch and moved to third on Haley Anderson’s first double of the game. The pair then scored on a Katie Norris single to left center. Pinch runner, Karolyne Long stole second, Dani Dobbs walked and Long advanced to third on a wild pitch. The Sooners then scored another run on a head-up play as Dobbs stole second and Long stole home after the Orange failed to return the ball to the pitching circle.
OU added a run in the third as Vandever reached on Syracuse’s first error of the game and moved to third on Anderson’s second double of the game and scored on the second miscue of the inning by the Orange.
The Sooners tacked on the needed runs for the run rule in the fourth inning. Krystle Huey reached on a single to right field and moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball before scoring on a Vandever single. Haley Nix then homered for the second consecutive game with a two-run blast to right field. Pinch hitter Chana’e Jones then scored pinch runner Evan Sallis to push the advantage to 10-0.
Jenna Caira (19-12) picked up the loss for Syracuse, allowing two earned runs on one hit in just two-thirds of an innings pitched. Lisaira Daniels was responsible for the Orange’s only hit of the game.