Keiter Shorts Shockers In Regional Opener
NORMAN, Okla. --Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said that her ace, Kami Keiter, was ready for the postseason several times prior to the Sooners’ opener in the Regional No. 14 Championships. Keiter backed up Gasso’s talk with a two-hit shutout on Friday night that paced OU to a 2-0 win over Wichita State at the OU Softball Complex.
“I thought we had a complete team effort,” said OU head coach Patty Gasso. “Our defense was great. Jamie Fox made a great play out in right field. Our infielders made all their plays. I thought Lindsay Craig did a very good job at keeping us off balance. It is tough to figure her out.”
It was a career night for Keiter (30-6), who recorded her 13th shutout of the season, which is a single season best for the Colorado native. The lefty hurler had a no hitter going through 6.1 innings and did not allow a Shocker runner past second base. She also struck out 10 batters, which marks the seventh time this season she has reached double digits in the category.
With the way Keiter was dealing the game was probably over after the first inning. It also helped that OU improved to 30-2 when it scores in the first inning this season.
“I was trying to switch it up a lot,” said Keiter. “In and out, I threw change ups a lot more than normal.”
It took a pair of wild run downs for Norrelle Dickson to score the initial run on a Christina Enea fielder’s choice. The Shockers had Dickson caught between third and home before they decided to chase Kristin Vesely between second and third. As they whiffed on a tag attempt on Vesely, Dickson wheeled home and narrowly slid under the tag.
A Wichita State error by shortstop Britnee Barnett led to the Sooners second score in the second inning. A hot shot grounder from Vesely alluded Barnett and allowed Nicole Denes to score from second.
“We were aggressive,” commented Gasso. “With a pitcher like Lindsay Craig, it’s tough because she throws a lot of junk at you when you are looking for something to hit. We did a good job at fighting that off and coming up with a clutch hit. Our base running was very aggressive. We did a good job at finding ways to score. Nicole Denes did a very good job finding ways to get on and putting pressure on their defense.”
The Sooners advance to play No. 3 seed Louisiana-Lafayette at 1 p.m. tomorrow. The winner of the contest advances to the Championship Sunday, where they will play at 1 p.m. The loser will go on to play at 6 p.m against the winner of the 3:30 p.m. contest between No. 2 seed Oregon and WSU.
OU and Lafayette met in the Tucson Regional on Championship Sunday last season. The Sooners dropped the first game 12-4, before rebounding to win the if-necessary game 15-0 in five innings. OU also defeated ULL, 7-3, at the KIA Klassic on March 17 this season.
The game will be broadcast throughout the state on KOKC (1520 AM) with the voice of OU softball Brian Brinkley on the one-man show.