FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.Freshman Samantha Ricketts led the Sooners to a 5-4 victory over Arkansas with her solo home run in the top of the seventh Monday afternoon in OU’s first game of the doubleheader in Fayetteville, Ark. The Sooners also used a three-run, five-hit fifth inning to rally back from a 2-0 deficit.
The No. 23 Oklahoma softball team improved to 33-18-1 overall while Arkansas fell to 26-30 on the year.
The Oklahoma offense had to come from behind, but once it started clicking, it tallied 12 hits against the Razorbacks’ two pitchers. Junior Norrelle Dickson, Ricketts, Savannah Long and Stacia Aleman recorded two hits each in the contest while Kristin Vesely, Mariee Mean, Ricketts, Long and Aleman each added an RBI.
The Razorbacks wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as they loaded the bases in the bottom of the first after a Mindy O’Malley double to lead off the frame and two straight walks two batters later. Meagan Harney’s single through the middle of the infield scored O’ Malley while Sandra Smith was thrown out at the plate on the same play to end the inning.
Arkansas continued the offense in the second as Whitney Cloer led off the frame with a solo home run to left center field to extend the Razorback lead to 2-0 and end OU starter Morgan Hudsonpillar’s stay in the circle.
Oklahoma answered in the fourth after Susan Ogden doubled to center field with two outs and Aleman drove her in with an RBI single to center field as Oklahoma stayed with in striking distance.
The Sooners continued the offensive rally in the fifth as Dickson led off the inning with her second singled of the day to left field and was moved over to second on an Amber Spaulding sacrifice bunt. Senior Vesely pounded an RBI single to center field to score Dickson and tie the game up at 2-2.
OU didn’t let up in the fifth as it recorded two back-to-back singles, including an RBI infield single by Mena to give OU its first lead of the game at 3-2. Long added to the rally with an RBI double down the left field line as Oklahoma held a 4-2 advantage.
Arkansas came roaring back in the bottom of the sixth after Cloer’s sacrifice fly to center field scored a run and the Lady Backs tied it up after Dayna Huckabee’s RBI single to center field made it 4-4 after six frames.
Senior Nicole Denes (10-5) earned the win after coming in for relief for five and one-third innings and holding the Razorbacks to two runs on four hits. Additionally, freshman D.J. Mathis earned her second save of the year after recording the final two outs of the seventh.
The Sooners and Razorbacks began game two of the doubleheader at 6:30 p.m.