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Softball Advances with 13-6 Win
May 11, 2006

OKLAHOMA CITY    The No. 20 Oklahoma softball team (36-18-1) , a No. 5 seed, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship with a 13-6 win over fourth-seeded Texas A&M (32-16) Thursday morning at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.  With the win, the Sooners will meet Bedlam rival Oklahoma State, a No. 8 seed, in the winner’s bracket at 5 p.m. Thursday evening.

With its 13 runs, Oklahoma set a Big 12 Championship record.  The previous most runs scored was 11 set four different times, twice by Oklahoma (2000, 2003).

The Aggies became the fourth higher-seeded team to fall in the Championship.  In Wednesday’s action, Oklahoma State topped No. 1 Texas and No. 7 Missouri beat No. 2 Nebraska.  On Thursday morning, sixth-seeded Kansas knocked off the third-seeded Baylor Bears.

Big 12 Championship Central

In an interesting game where Oklahoma dominated the Aggies in runs, Texas A&M tallied nine hits to OU’s seven.  Texas A&M recorded five costly errors while walking six players. 

Offensively, Oklahoma used a huge six-run second inning to take the lead they would never lose.  Freshman Samantha Ricketts was impressive in her first Big 12 Championship outing with a three-run homer in the seventh to add to the Sooner lead.  It marked her team-leading ninth home run of the year.

Additionally, Mariee Mena was on fire for the Sooners with a three RBI triple in the second to give the Sooners their first lead of the game.  She finished with a 2-for-4 outing at the plate and four RBI, a single game career high.  

Oklahoma improved to 30-4 when scoring first after plating two runs in the top of the first after RBI from Kristin Vesely and Ricketts.

Texas A&M responded with four runs in the bottom of the first after Rocky Spencer’s double plated three Aggies.  However, the runs were all due to a previous error by OU’s Mena at first base.  Jami Lobpries added an additional run with her RBI single before the Sooners were able to get out of the inning.

The Sooners wouldn’t give up as they responded with their biggest inning of the game, plating six runs on two hits while the Aggies recorded two costly errors.  Dickson led off with a single and the Sooners had the bases loaded after Spaulding was hit by a pitch and Vesely walked. 

On the ensuing play, Ricketts earned an RBI with a ground out to second base.  After Savannah Long was hit by a pitch, junior Mariee Mena came through with her triple to center field and Oklahoma took the 6-4 lead.  OU added two additional runs after two straight errors by the left fielder and third baseman.

Oklahoma would post five more runs on the board in the final five innings, highlighted by Ricketts’ homer in the seventh.  The Aggies would only score two more runs, one in the fourth after an error by OU catcher Susan Ogden, and a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh by Holly Ridley.

Ridley’s home run was the only earned run OU starter D.J. Mathis gave up as she surrendered nine hits with six runs, one earned, and posted three strikeouts.  The freshman lefty improved to 13-6 on the season.

Texas A&M starter Amanda Scarborough fell to 15-9 after giving up three hits and five earned runs through two complete innings.  Lisa Gorzycki pitched the final five frames, allowing four hits and four earned runs with only one strikeout.

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