March 17, 2013
Fresh off a 9-0, five-inning win over Cal State Fullerton (13-16) on Sunday at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., the Sooners (27-1) have now tied a school record with its seventh consecutive shutout. The current run matches a mark initially set March 8-15, 1997, and equaled Feb. 23-March 2, 2008.
The Sooners' current scoreless inning streak sits at 40, with their last run allowed coming in the fourth inning against Drake on March 8.
Oklahoma entered play at the Judi Garman Classic on Friday with a nation's-best earned run average of 0.80. After 29 innings of no-run ball in California, the team ERA sits at 0.67, having allowed just 17 earned runs in 177 innings of play this season.
The linchpin on Sunday was senior Keilani Ricketts. She threw her fourth consecutive shutout and 11th of the year to increase her record to 14-0. She struck out 10 batters, her eighth double-digit strikeout effort in 2013, and allowed just two hits while walking none.
Ricketts took a no-hitter into fourth inning as she retired the first 10 batters of the game, with the first five victims coming via strikeout.
For third game in a row, and sixth time in the last seven contests, Oklahoma's offense scored in the first inning.
With two outs and sophomore Georgia Casey on second, senior Jessica Shults hit her fifth home run of the season to give the Sooners a 2-0 lead. It was also the 59th home run of her career, extending her school and Big 12 record.
A four-run second inning, spurred by back-to-back home runs, broke the game open for OU.
With two outs and junior Destinee Martinez on first, senior Brianna Turang reached on an infield single to shortstop. That brought up sophomore Lauren Chamberlain who worked the count to 3-1 before smashing her 16th home run of the season to center field and giving the Sooners a 4-0 lead.
Sophomore Georgia Casey followed Chamberlain with a solo home run, her fourth of the season, to make it 5-0 in OU's favor.
Oklahoma initiated the run-rule in the fifth inning by scoring three more runs.
With one out, Ricketts singled to the hole at shortstop and junior Brittany Williams followed with a single of her own to left field. Martinez then singled to center field and Ricketts was able to beat the throw to the plate.
Later in the inning, with Martinez on third and pinch hitter Paris Townsend on first, Turang doubled to left center to drive home Martinez and send Townsend to third base. A walk to Chamberlain filled the bases before Casey walked on five pitches to plate the game's final run.
Oklahoma returns home next weekend to host No. 11 Louisville in a three-game series at Marita Hynes Field. Action starts with a doubleheader on Saturday at 2 p.m., while the series closes on Sunday at noon.