March 9, 2013
"I think today was definitely our best day," Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said. "You could feel the energy and you could feel everybody invested in what we were doing.
"There were just some really outstanding offensive performances. Lauren [Chamberlain], Shelby, Keilani [Ricketts], everybody participated big time and it was really enjoyable to watch."
Sophomore Shelby Pendley continued her lights-out hitting as she hit two more home runs, after hitting two home runs in a win over Northern Colorado on Friday. She finished the day 2-3 with two home runs, four runs batted in and three runs scored.
Over her last nine games, Pendley is hitting .789 (15-19) with a .867 on-base percentage and a 1.684 slugging percentage. She has 13 runs, 14 RBI and 11 walks over that span and has seen her season batting average climb from .262 to .426.
Oklahoma took advantage of two Drake errors to score three runs in the first inning.
After sophomore Lauren Chamberlain drew a lead-off walk, fellow sophomore Georgia Casey laid down a bunt. She beat the throw to first base but third baseman Hayley Nybo's throw was up the line, allowing Chamberlain to take third and Casey to reach second.
Pendley then lifted a fly ball to deep right field where it looked like Sarah Ryan was in position to make the catch. However, she misplayed the ball which enabled Chamberlain and Casey to score and Pendley to end up at third base. Two batters later, senior Jessica Shults singled through the right side to score Pendley.
The Sooners blew the game wide open with a seven-run second inning.
With two outs and senior Brianna Turang on second base following a single and stolen base, Casey doubled to the wall in center field. Pendley followed with her third home run of the weekend, a two-run shot to the bleachers in left center.
Senior Keilani Ricketts kept the inning going with a single up the middle. Shults moved Ricketts to third with a double to left center, and junior Brittany Williams brought both runners home with a two-run single to center field to make the game, 8-0, in the Sooners' favor.
After Williams' single, junior Kelley Reeves walked. Freshman Erin Miller ran for Williams at second and came around to score, along with Reeves, when junior Destinee Martinez roped a double to left center.
For good measure, the Sooners scored three more runs in the third inning.
Chamberlain led off the frame with her 13th home run of the season and the 43rd of her career. Nearing the middle of her second season as a Sooner, Chamberlain is almost at the halfway mark of the all-time NCAA Division I record of 90 home runs set by UCLA's Stacey Nuveman.
"They were throwing a lot of off-speed this weekend and I just wanted to make that part of my game better," Chamberlain said. "I just got after good pitches and got deep in a lot of counts, just making sure I'm swinging at good pitches."
After a lineout by Casey, Pendley picked up her second home run of the game and the seventh of her season by sending a deep drive to the right of the batter's eye in center field. It was the fifth multi-home run game of Pendley's career and her second time doing so as a Sooner.
Later in the inning, freshman Paris Townsend walked with two outs. Miller hit her second double of the season to put Townsend on third and Reeves brought home the final OU run with a single to left field.
With the lead well in hand, Ricketts was able to cruise her way through the Drake lineup.
Pushing her record to a perfect 11-0, Ricketts struck out five and allowed just two hits as she threw her eighth shutout of the season. It was also the 46th shutout of her career, moving her into second place on the Big 12's all-time list.
"I think Keilani really had a good day on the mound because she was establishing the inside part of the plate," Gasso explained. "She did a really good job of getting some easy ground balls to our infield."
Up next, Oklahoma takes part in its final tournament of the season with a trip to the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., March 15-17.
The Sooners open with games against Pacific and North Carolina State on Friday. A single game against No. 20 Arizona highlights Saturday's schedule, while the tournament concludes with Sunday contests versus Penn State and Cal State Fullerton.