Sooners Win Thrilling Finale at Texas

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
APRIL 21, 2013


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
 Oklahoma 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 5 9 0
 Texas 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 5 1
Box Score | VideoHighlights | VideoFull Game


 Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
 W - Ricketts 6.1 5 3 3 0 6
 L - Luna 5.1 9 5 4 5 5
 S - Gascoigne 0.2 0 0 0 1 1
 Leaders AB R H RBI BB HR
 OU - Pendley 2 2 2 2 2 2
 UT - Thom 2 1 2 2 0 0
 Up Next
Who: North Texas
When: Tuesday, 4 p.m. CT
Live Stats: Click Here
Where: Denton, Texas
Preview: The No. 1 Sooners play their final non-conference game of the season on Tuesday with a makeup contest at North Texas.

Full Schedule | Notes | @SoonerSoftball
AUSTIN, Texas -- No. 1 Oklahoma controls its own destiny for the Big 12 championship following a thrilling, 5-3 win at No. 6/7 Texas on Sunday afternoon.

With both teams entering the weekend undefeated in conference play, the Sooners (39-3) took two of three from the Longhorns (39-6) and now hold an 8-1 record in the Big 12, while Texas' mark in league play is 9-2.

"It makes us understand that we do decide our own destiny," OU head coach Patty Gasso said of the win. "We don't have to hope others can beat somebody else. We have this in our hands, and we have to earn it."

After splitting the first two games of the series, Sunday's finale, fittingly, was in doubt until the very last out.

Senior pitcher Keilani Ricketts had been stellar all weekend in the circle for Oklahoma. After a 15-strikeout performance on Friday, Ricketts kept Texas on its heels through six innings on Sunday.

But with the Sooners holding to a 5-2 lead, the Longhorns mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh. Karina Scott was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Rachel Scott pinch ran for her and took second on Kim Bruins' infield single.

A fielder's choice got an out at second, putting runners on the corners with one out. Torie Schmidt followed with a single that deflected off Ricketts and into right field, scoring Rachel Scott.

Senior Michelle Gascoigne came on in relief of Ricketts to get the final two outs. She walked her first batter, pinch hitter Erin Shireman, loading the bases for the top of the Longhorns' lineup. The count grew to 3-2 against leadoff batter Taylor Hoagland, who entered the game batting .454, but Gascoigne was able to get Hoagland to pop out to junior Javen Henson at third base.

Down to the game's final out, Gascoigne struck out Brejae Washington on three pitches to record her second save of the season.

"I just wanted to help Keilani out," Gascoigne said. "I knew she needed my help in that moment, and I just wanted to do it for my team because we've worked so hard today. Everybody worked so hard to put those runs up to keep us in the game so I just really wanted to finish the job."

Ricketts got the win to improve to 22-1 on the season. She struck out six, walked none and allowed three runs on five hits in 6.1 innings of work.

"I appreciated the fact that Keilani realized she was out of gas and knew that Michelle could come in and help her out, and asked for it; that was very big of her," Gasso said. "We sometimes lose sight of what she's going through.

"Michelle was just really clutch this weekend when we needed her the most and against some of their best hitters. It was an exciting finish to say the least."

Oklahoma used a two-out rally in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead.

After a pair of strikeouts, sophomore Shelby Pendley took UT starter Blaire Luna deep to right field. It was Pendley's 14th home run of the season and 33rd of her career.

Ricketts kept the inning alive with a walk, and she advanced to second when fellow senior Jessica Shults reached on a fielding error by Luna. Junior Brittany Williams made the Longhorns pay for the error with a single back up the middle to drove home Ricketts.

Texas got one back in the bottom of the frame when Taylor Thom hit a solo home run to center field.

After three scoreless innings, OU padded its lead with two runs in the fifth inning.

Shults led off with a walk and was pinch run for by sophomore Erica Sampson. Two batters later, junior Destinee Martinez singled to center field to bump Sampson to second. A fielder's choice from sophomore Callie Parsons erased Sampson at third, but still left two on for senior Brianna Turang.

On a 2-2 pitch, Turang laced a double to the gap in left center to score both Martinez and Parsons. It was one of a season-high three hits for Turang.

"She's been on fire all weekend," Gasso said of Turang. "What's really enjoyable is to see a senior walk out the way she wants to and really love what she's been doing. She's such a spark down at the nine."

Turang's hit capped an impressive weekend from the bottom of the Sooners' lineup. Over the three-game series, Martinez, Parsons and Turang combined to go 14-28 with six runs batted in.

Leading 4-1, OU got another run in the sixth when Pendley connected for her second home run of the day. It was her seventh career multi-home run game and her fourth as a Sooner.

Pendley's blast chased away Luna, who took the loss and saw her record fall to 22-3. Luna allowed a season-high nine hits and five runs, four of which were earned, in 5.1 innings. She also walked five and struck out five, her lowest strikeout total in a start this season.

Texas began its attempted comeback in the bottom of the sixth when Hoagland hit a leadoff triple and came home two batters later when Thom hit a sacrifice fly to right field.

Oklahoma is back in action on Tuesday with its final non-conference game of the season at North Texas. The game is a makeup from the contest on April 10 that was postponed due to rain. First pitch in Denton is scheduled for 4 p.m.




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