Ricketts tossed her seventh career no-hitter and the 17th no-hitter in WCWS history as the Sooners cruised to a 7-1 victory over Michigan. OU advances to to face Big 12-rival Texas. The Sooners and the Longhorns are set to meet Friday night at 8:30 p.m. CT on ESPN. During the regular season, OU took two of three games in Austin.
With the win, Ricketts improves her record to 32-1 on the season. She struck out 12 and walked two while allowing an unearned run in the third inning. It was the first no-hitter in WCWS competition since 2007.
The two-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Ricketts was perfect through two innings as she struck out four of the batters she faced.
Michigan took advantage of some uncharacteristic defense from the Sooners, though, to take a 1-0 lead in the third.
Sierra Lawrence led off by reaching safely on sophomore third baseman Shelby Pendley's throwing error. After a strikeout, Amy Knapp reached on a fielder's choice and Lawrence took third after escaping a run-down. Lyndsay Doyle then tapped a ball back to Ricketts, who flipped home, but catcher Jessica Shults was unable to field it cleanly and Lawrence slid home safely.
Oklahoma bounced right back, though, and answered Michigan's run with four of its own in the bottom of the frame.
Senior Brianna Turang opened the inning by reaching on a throwing error by Knapp at third base. Sophomore Lauren Chamberlain followed that by lining a single to right field. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch, and Turang came home when sophomore Georgia Casey pulled a single through the left side.
After a strikeout and stolen base by Casey, Ricketts was intentionally walked to fill the bases for junior Brittany Williams. The starting designated player came through with the clutch hit as she dropped a single to left field to give the Sooners the lead.
The bases remained loaded as Shults stepped to the box and delivered a two-run single that just got over the glove of second baseman Ashley Lane and into center field. Shults entered the game just 2-16 in the postseason, but finished Thursday night 2-2 with two runs batted in and a walk.
Oklahoma carried the 4-1 lead into the fourth, where it added two more runs thanks to Chamberlain's bat.
Turang led off for the second inning in a row and reached on an infield single. Chamberlain then took a full-count pitch off her shoetops and launched a two-run shot to center field.
The home run was her 28th on the year and 58th of her career. She moves up to second on the OU career list and into a tie for second on the Big 12 career list. Her single-season total is tied for 11th in NCAA Division I history and puts her two off her own record for the Big 12 and OU single-season mark.
In addition, Chamberlain upped her season RBI total to 81, tying former Sooner Samantha Ricketts for the most in conference and team history. Ricketts accomplished the feat in 2007.
OU added another run in the fifth when sophomore Callie Parsons smashed a single off Lane's glove and into center field. The ricochet allowed sophomore Erica Sampson, running for Shults, to score from second base and make it 7-1.
Michigan tried for a comeback in the sixth, putting two runners on with just one out off a walk and hit by pitch. Ricketts fought back, however, and struck out the final two batters of the inning.