NORMAN, Okla. -- Senior pitcher Keilani Ricketts already held numerous school records in her illustrious career with the Sooners, but she added to her stellar resume on Sunday by becoming the winningest pitcher in the history of Oklahoma softball.
Ricketts earned career win No. 116, passing former Sooner Jennifer Stewart, as No. 1 Oklahoma (34-2, 3-0) finished off a three-game sweep of No. 18 Baylor (29-10, 3-5) with an 8-0, six-inning win in front of 908 fans. Ricketts' career record now stands at 116-35, while her season mark is 18-1.
"It means a lot with the tradition of excellence that we've had at OU to be mentioned in that category," Ricketts said of her record. "But it was also great to get the sweep in our conference opener against Baylor."
Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso reiterated after the game how special of a player Ricketts has been.
"She's one of the most special that softball will see in probably a long time," Gasso said. "She's embarrassed by that, but it's been really fun to watch her progression from a freshman."
"It's been so enjoyable to watch her progress that way and be a leader of this team on the field, in competition, on the mound and also at the plate," Gasso added. "It's really been an honor to be a part of a pitcher and legend like Keilani."
Perfect through three innings against the Bears, Ricketts allowed only four hits in the game while striking out five and walking one. It's the 12th shutout of her season and the 50th of her career, extending a school record she already owned.
In addition to the wins and shutouts records, Ricketts boasts the top school marks in complete games (111), innings pitched (964.1), strikeouts (1,445) and games started (144).
Ricketts also moved up in the NCAA Division I rankings with her five punchouts. She now has 1,445 in her career, moving into 11th place.
After cruising through the Baylor lineup once, Ricketts relied on her defense to get out of mini-jams in the final three innings.
A two-out walk in the fourth was followed by a double but Ricketts got Jordan Strickland to ground out to sophomore Jessica Vest at shortstop.
In the fifth, Kelsi Kettler hit a one-out double, but the next two batters each grounded out to sophomore Shelby Pendley at third base to keep the Bears off the board.
Ricketts got two strikeouts to start the sixth inning, but Baylor responded with back-to-back singles. Once again, the left side of the infield came through to stop the threat as Strickland grounded to Vest who flipped to Pendley at third to get the force.
The defense shined for Oklahoma, but so did the offense as it registered its 14th run-rule win of the season. The offensive output came against a Baylor pitching staff that entered the weekend with the seventh-best earned run average in the country at 1.45.
All told, the Sooners outscored the Bears 25-6 in the three-game series and raised BU's ERA to 1.79. Baylor had allowed eight runs in a game just once this season, in the second game of the year, but OU scored at least eight runs in each game of the series.
"I thought we just really played well this weekend, Gasso said. "It was a great atmosphere with a great crowd and we were feeling their energy. The team was excited to play at home, but our hitters did a fantastic job of being patient and working counts."
What turned out to be the winning run on Sunday came in the first inning when Pendley launched her 10th home run of the season, a solo shot to right field.
The lead doubled for Oklahoma in the third as junior Brittany Williams walked with the bases loaded.
In the fourth inning, senior Brianna Turang singled through the right side and stole second with one out. Two batters later, sophomore Georgia Casey, who matched a career high with three hits, singled off the wall in left center to make it 3-0 Sooners.
A five-run sixth inning closed out the win.
Turang led things off with a single to left field. That brought up sophomore Lauren Chamberlain, who was 0-3 at that point and in danger of going hitless for just the sixth time all season and failing to reach base for just the second time.
After falling behind 1-2, Chamberlain fouled off another pitch before taking two balls. She then went opposite field on a 3-2 pitch for her 18th home run of the season and 48th of her career. She is now tied with former Sooner Samantha Ricketts for the fifth-most home runs in Big 12 history and the third most in OU history.
Chamberlain's 18 home runs this year are also tied for sixth most in a single-season at Oklahoma.
The Sooners weren't done in the inning, though, because Casey followed Chamberlain with a double to left center. Casey took third on a passed ball as Pendley walked and then scored on a wild pitch to put Oklahoma up 6-0.
Back-to-back walks for senior Jessica Shults and Ricketts loaded the bases and sophomore Callie Parsons ended the game with a two-run single to left center.
Oklahoma returns to action this Wednesday with a single contest against North Texas. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Marita Hynes Field, and the game will be carried on Fox Sports Oklahoma.