Sooners Beat Texas, Take First Place in Big 12

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
APRIL 19, 2013

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
 Oklahoma 0 1 3 0 2 0 0 6 8 0
 Texas 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1
Box Score


 Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
 W - Ricketts 7.0 6 1 1 2 15
 L - Luna 4.0 4 2 2 3 2
 S - N/A - - - - - -
 Leaders AB R H RBI BB HR
 OU - Turang 3 0 2 2 1 0
 UT - Scott 3 1 2 1 0 1
 Up Next
Who: Texas
When: Saturday, 5 p.m. CT
Live Stats: Click Here
Where: Austin, Texas
Preview: The top-ranked Sooners go for the series win on Saturday in game two of the three-game series at No. 6/7 Texas.

Full Schedule | Notes | @SoonerSoftball
AUSTIN, Texas -- All season long the Oklahoma softball team's offense has been led by its powerful bats. On Friday at No. 6/7 Texas, it was the bottom of the order that led the way in the Sooners' 6-1 series-opening victory.

While the first six hitters combined to go just 1-18, OU's 7-9 batters, Destinee Martinez, Callie Parsons and Brianna Turang, tallied seven hits in nine at-bats with four runs batted in.

"The bottom of our lineup was phenomenal and really doing a good job of using their chop off the dirt," OU head coach Patty Gasso said. "The defense played well; [Keilani] Ricketts, this is one of the better games she's thrown in a while. I think all areas of our game were just working today."

"Parsons came through in the clutch with big RBI, Brianna and Destinee were just finding their way on," Gasso went on to say. "What was nice was that the top of our lineup wasn't really on today, but the bottom of the lineup's attitude was `no worries, we got you guys,' and that's just so nice to see that and feel that as a team."

With the win, OU (38-2) takes over first place in the Big 12 with a 7-0 record, taking the top spot from the Longhorns (38-5) and dropping them to 8-1 in the process. Oklahoma also snapped Texas' 15-game winning streak with the victory.

Senior pitcher Keilani Ricketts, who set a school record with her 174th career appearance in the circle, twirled a gem as she improved to 21-1 on the year. Ricketts struck out a season-high 15 batters and allowed just one run while giving up six hits and two walks. At one point between the third and sixth innings, she retired 11 of 12 batters she faced.

The win for Ricketts came about as she went head-to-head with fellow ace Blaire Luna. Both pitchers entered the game ranking in the top 10 in the country in earned run average, strikeouts per seven innings pitched, hits allowed per seven innings and shutouts.

The Sooners used a patient approach at the plate to draw nine walks, the most allowed by Texas' pitchers this year. Luna walked six on her own and left after four innings, giving up four runs - including three earned - on four hits while striking out nine in 117 pitches.

"That was really part of our game plan, to hit balls there are hittable," Gasso said. "You have to have a very good eye, you have to be very patient and be disciplined because Luna just works around the zone all the time.

"We did a good job of capitalizing on the base on balls and scoring when we needed to."

Luna, who had not given up an earned run in 20.1 innings entering Friday, was handed just her second loss of the season. The six runs were the most allowed by UT's staff since a 9-7 loss to Fordham on March 3.

Oklahoma got on the board in the second inning.

With two outs and Ricketts on second, Martinez reached on an infield single, the first of a season-high three hits in the game, to puts runners on the corners. Parsons then drew a walk and Turang hit a chopper back up the middle that deflected off Luna's glove to allow Ricketts to score.

In Texas' half of the inning the Longhorns tied the game up, but Ricketts bounced back and finished with four strikeouts in the inning.

After fanning Torie Schmidt, Ricketts allowed a solo home run by Karina Scott. Erin Shireman then struck out but was able to reach first on a wild pitch. Stephanie Ceo went down swinging for the second out and Taylor Hoagland walked to keep the inning alive, but Ricketts then got Brejae Washington to strike out swinging to end the threat.

The Sooners broke the tie in the third inning and took a three-run lead at 4-1.

With sophomore Georgia Casey on third and senior Jessica Shults on first base, junior Brittany Williams walked to load the bases. Martinez then chopped a single high enough in the infield to not allow a play to be made anywhere and bring Casey home.

The bases remained loaded as Parsons stepped in, and she delivered a single through the right side to drive in Shults, while an error on Longhorns right fielder Erin Shireman enabled Williams to cross the plate.

OU padded its lead with two more runs in the fifth.

Shults led off the frame against relief pitcher Holly Kern and greeted her with a solo home run to center field. It was Shults' sixth of the year and extended her school and Big 12 record to 60 career home runs.

Williams followed Shults with a walk and was pinch run for by sophomore Jessica Vest. A groundout and sac bunt enabled Vest to reach third, and Turang used an infield single to drive her in.

Game two of the three-game series is set for a 5 p.m. start on Sunday. The game will be shown live on the Longhorn Network.



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