April 24, 2009
AUDIO AVAILABLE FOR BOTH GAMES
Saturday's game is an Internet only broadcast at www.SoonerSports.com. Sunday's game will air locally on 1520 AM KOKC. David Lanning will call both games.
SOONERS/TIGERS SERIES HISTORY
Overall Record: Oklahoma leads 45-35
In Norman: Missouri leads 16-12
In Columbia: Oklahoma leads 19-9
At Neutral Sites: Oklahoma leads 14-10
Oklahoma's Series Streak: Won 4
Oklahoma's Series Streak in Columbia: Lost 1
Last Loss in Columbia: April 15, 2007 (1-5)
Last 10 Meetings in Columbia: Oklahoma leads 9-1
Last Five Meetings in Columbia: Oklahoma leads 4-1
2008 Meetings: 4/5 (W, 8-0 ) and 4/6 (W, 4-3) in Norman, Okla.
SOONER REWIND: SOONERS DROP NORTH TEXAS, 7-3
The OU softball team closed out its regular season non-conference action Wednesday night with a 7-3 win over North Texas. The Sooners got multiple-hit performances from freshman Karolyne Long and sophomore Dani Dobbs to drop the Mean Green. Oklahoma scored three runs in the top of the second, and sophomore Haley Anderson delivered a bases-clearing, three-run double in the fifth to lead OU to the win. Anderson went 1-for-3 on the night. Long posted a 2-for-4 showing, while Dobbs was a perfect 2-for-2, scoring two runs and drawing one walk. Sophomore Krystle Huey went 1-for-3, scoring two runs. Junior Lindsey Vandever was issued two walks. Freshman starter Allee Allen went 3.2 innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits. Reliever Kirsten Allen picked up the win, moving to 8-6 on the year. K. Allen allowed one earned run on two hits, while fanning six batters.
BID ON "KNOCK BREAST CANCER OUT OF THE PARK" ITEMS
The University of Oklahoma softball team, in partnership with CBS College Sports, is auctioning off several autographed pink items to help promote breast cancer awareness. A total of 11 game-used items from OU's Knock Breast Cancer Out of the Park game against Texas A&M on Saturday, April 18, are now available in the official OU Athletics Online Auction. All proceeds generated by the auction will be donated to the OU Women's Outreach Center. Bidding ends on Thursday, May 7. Visit the softball page on www.SoonerSports.com for details.
FLORES NAMED BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR A THIRD TIME
For a third time this season, Oklahoma junior Amber Flores has been named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week. The Calexico, Calif.-native previously earned the honor during the first week of the 2009 campaign and last on March 23. Flores went 4-for-4 against Texas A&M, drawing two three against the Aggies. Flores went 3-for-3 on Saturday with a solo home run. She drove in two additional runs on singles in the Sooners’ 7-3 win. She also stole her ninth base of the season. On Sunday, Flores tallied her first triple of the season, on a 1-for-1outing in Oklahoma’s 3-1 win over the Aggies. Flores posted a 2.225 slugging percentage in the series. It marked the first series sweep of Texas A&M since 2003. Flores’ week began on Wednesday when the Sooner defeated Oklahoma State 8-1 in the first game of the 2009 Bedlam Series, presented by The Oklahoman and Oklahoma Farm Bureau. Flores jacked her second career grand slam on a 2-for-4 night. It was OU’s 14th straight win in the series. On the week, Flores hit .750 (6-for-8), producing a double, a triple and two home runs. She recorded 15 total bases, drove in six runs and scored five. Flores posted a 1.875 slugging percentage on the week and an on-base percentage of .818.
FLORES TOP 25 FINALIST FOR NATIONAL POY
University of Oklahoma junior Amber Flores has been named a top 25 finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. Flores joins the nation's best players on the list to determine college softball's top player. Flores currently leads Oklahoma and the Big 12 in a majority of statistical categories. Hailing from Calexico, Calif., Flores leads Oklahoma in batting average, hitting .419 on the year. She is 52-for-124 with 52 runs driven in and 51 scored on the year. While having 124 official at-bats, Flores has registered two sacrifice flies, been hit by a pitch 16 times and leads the team with 41 walks drawn. Her slugging percentage stands at an astounding .871. She reaches base 589.6 percent of the time. She has 12 doubles and 14 home runs, just one shy of her season high set in 2008. Flores is 9-for-10 in the stolen base department.
RICKETTS A LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS TOP 10 FINALIST
University of Oklahoma senior Samantha Ricketts of San Jose, Calif., has been named a top 10 finalist for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for softball. Fan balloting is open through May 7 and will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award. Winners will be announced during the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, scheduled for May 28-June 3. Fans can vote for Ricketts by visiting http://www.seniorclassaward/com/vote or text SB8 to 839863.
NCAA RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX
The NCAA released its first Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) on March 31. The Sooners are ninth in the latest report, calculated for games played through April 19.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE ONE OF NATION'S TOUGHEST
A tough schedule is nothing new for Oklahoma and this season is no different. Of the squads on the Sooners' slate, 24 have been ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches' Poll at some point this year.
GASSO MOVING TOWARD 900 CAREER WINS
Already Oklahoma's all-time winningest softball coach, Patty Gasso won her 700th game as the Sooners' head coach against Northwestern (3/7). Gasso's mark at the school is 721-237-2; while her career record stands at 883-296 -2.
FLORES ONE OF THE NATION'S BEST HITTERS
There's no question that junior Amber Flores is one of the nation's best hitters. Flores is getting on base, coming around to score and driving in runs. She hit her second career grand slam last Wednesday against Oklahoma State. Her 14 home runs on the year trail only her sophomore total of 15. Flores leads the Big 12 in the majority of statistical categories.
VANDEVER BACK IN THE GROOVE
With her three-run shot against Oklahoma State, junior Lindsey Vandever recorded her first home run since March 25. Vandever has surpassed her previous season high of six home runs with her seven this year.
ANDERSON HAVING A BREAKOUT SEASON
Sophomore Haley Anderson is having a breakout season in 2009. After seeing time in a limited role as a freshman, Anderson has earned a spot in the starting lineup and is proving her worth. At North Texas, Anderson came through with a three-run double for OU.
BOTTOM HALF OF THE ORDER COMING THROUGH
With names like Flores, Ricketts and Vandever in the upper half of the lineup, what's making Oklahoma a complete offensive threat is the production from the bottom half of the order. Sophomore Haley Anderson is fourth on the team in batting average (.318). Also getting on base is sophomore Dani Dobbs, who has 15 walks and been hit by a pitch 17 times this season.
TWO DOWN, WE'LL COME AROUND
All eight of Oklahoma's runs against Oklahoma State were scored with two outs. It's nothing new for the Sooners, who as a team hit .301 with two outs. OU is hitting .299 with runners in scoring position. Junior Amber Flores leads the way for the Sooners, hitting .405 with two outs. She and senior Samantha Ricketts each have 16 RBI with two outs. Flores is also .400 at the plate with the bases loaded. One of her two hits was her grand slam against Oklahoma State.
OU Fast Fact
Sophomore Dani Dobbs has been hit by a pitch 17 times this year. The total ranks seventh in the nation.
RICKETTS: CAREER HOME RUN LEADER
With her home run against Texas A&M on "Knock Breast Cancer out of the Park" Day, senior Samantha Ricketts broke the OU career record for home runs. The previous record was 46 by Ashli Barrett (1998-2001).
SOONERS GETTING RUN PRODUCTION
The Sooners average just over six runs per game and have posted double digit run totals in seven games this season. In fact, the Sooners have scored six, seven and nine runs, respectively - in three different losses. The Sooners started the year on an obliterating pace, outscoring opponents 58-9 at the Hawai'i Paradise Classic.
SCORING FIRST EQUALS POSITIVE RESULTS
Oklahoma is 26-5 when scoring first this season. In fact, the Sooners have scored 67 runs in the first inning this year - that's 23.2 percent of OU's output and the most in any inning this season.
MATHIS ON THE COMEBACK AFTER INJURY
Senior pitcher D.J. Mathis is on the comeback after sitting out several weeks due to shoulder soreness. Mathis went an entire month between starts (Feb. 22 vs. Massachusetts - March 21 vs. Iowa State). During the lull, Mathis worked 5.1 innings across two games. Since March 21, Mathis is 7-2 with a 3.19 earned run average. She has 61 strikeouts in 52.2 innings pitched.
A DAZZLING YEAR FOR A ROOKIE
Freshman pitcher Allee Allen has been wowing audiences, dazzling opponents and uplifting her teammates with her outings this season. The rookie is 14-3 on the year; only one other Oklahoma pitcher had that great of a first year campaign (Jennifer Stewart in 1999, one year before she led OU to the National Championship and Most Outstanding Player honors). While Allen's numbers are not quite as a comparable to Stewart's, she is getting the job done on the mound. In 29 appearances, Allen has 114.0 innings thrown and a 2.76 earned run average.
FLORES MAKING THE MOST OF PLATE APPEARANCES
Junior Amber Flores leads Oklahoma with a .419 batting average (52-for-124). Flores has had 183 total plate appearances - meaning she has drawn 41 walks and been hit by a pitch 16 times. She's only registered 12 strikeouts on the year. Needless to say, Flores makes it a priority to get on base, and she does so 59.6 percent of the time. Her slugging percentage is a ridiculous .871. She is onehome run shy of tying her single season record of 15 set in 2008 and on pace to break her single season walks drawn record of 45 set in 2008.
RICKETTS: 184 STRAIGHT AND COUNTING
Senior Samantha Ricketts currently holds the longest active starting streak by an Oklahoma player. Ricketts has started 184 straight games, dating back to April 26, 2006 (vs. Oklahoma State). She has started all but 14 of those games at first base. Ricketts started the final 14 games of the 2006 season as the designated player.
AND THAT'S THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLES
Of Oklahoma's 13 losses, six are by one run. In those one-run losses, the Sooners hit just. 209 (45-of-215) and only one player hit above .350.
GO SPEED RACER
Freshman Evan Sallis leads the Sooners with 15 stolen bases on the year. Sallis is 15-for-17, while junior Amber Flores is 9-of-10. Sophomore Krystle Huey is 8-of-10 on the year.
FLORES EARNS SECOND BIG 12 POW AWARD
For a second time this season, Oklahoma junior shortstop Amber Flores was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week on March 23. The Calexico, Calif.-native previously earned the honor during the first week of the 2009 campaign. On Saturday against Iowa State, Flores went a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate, drove in five runs and scored two as the Sooners defeated Iowa State, 10-7, on Flores' walk-off home run in the seventh inning. In the second game, Flores went 1-for-2 with a run scored and drew a walk. She hit .857 on the weekend, going 6-for-7 with a slugging percentage of 1.857. Flores also scored three runs total on the weekend. Overall on the week, Flores hit. 600 as Oklahoma went 3-0 with a pair of wins over ISU and a five-inning 8-0 blanking of Northern Iowa. In those three games, Flores produced a slugging percentage of 1.300 and an on-base percentage of .889.
OU, ARIZONA RANKED IN EVERY NFCA POLL
The Sooners have been ranked in the NFCA poll since its inception, which spans 206 weeks. Oklahoma and Arizona are the only programs who have been ranked every week the poll has been released.
FLORES EARNS BIG 12, NATIONAL AWARDS
For her MVP performance at the Hawai'i Paradise Classic, junior shortstop Amber Flores was named Big 12 Player of the Week, Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I Player of the Week and Co-Player of the Week by USA Softball on Feb. 10. It is the first time an OU softball athlete has earned both national honors in the same week. Flores hit .643 over a five-game span. Flores was 9-for-14 with nine runs scored and drove in 15 runs. Of her nine hits, two were doubles and three were home runs. Flores posted a slugging percentage of 1.429 and an on-base percentage of .737. She totaled 20 bases on the weekend, along with three walks and two hit-by-pitches. In OU's 18-0 win over UAB, Flores tied the OU school record with eight RBI in a single game. In the first inning, she drove in two runs on a double and later in the inning, cleared the bases with her three-run shot. She added a second three-run home run later in the contest.
MATHIS, RICKETTS TAKEN IN NPF DRAFT
Pitcher D.J. Mathis and infielder Samantha Ricketts were selected by the Akron Racers in the 2009 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft. Mathis went second overall, while Ricketts was the second pick in the third round, going 12th overall. Oklahoma was one of four schools with two players taken. Oklahoma has now had 13 players drafted to the NPF league since its inaugural draft prior to the 2004 season.
DUO PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
A pair of University of Oklahoma softball athletes were named Preseason All-Americans by ESPN. Junior Amber Flores earned first team honors, while senior Samantha Ricketts was named to the second team.
MATHIS, RICKETTS NAMED TO WATCH LIST
Oklahoma seniors D.J. Mathis and Samantha Ricketts were named to the 2009 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List. Both are All-Americans and Ricketts was a top three finalist in 2007.
OU UNANIMOUS SELECTION TO WIN BIG 12
The Sooners received nine of 10 first-place votes and tallied 81 points to receive top billing in the 2009 Big 12 coaches' preseason poll. The selection the first time the Sooners were chosen a unanimous selection to win the league title since 2000, when OU won its first National Championship.
SIGNING CLASS RATED NATION'S BEST
The 2010 University of Oklahoma softball singing class has been rated the nation's best by ESPN.com's Garland Cooper. Cooper rated the Sooner's class based on its depth in signing left-handed pitchers Keilani Ricketts and Michelle Gascoigne. The class also includes catcher Jessica Shults.
NIX JOINS NATION'S BEST SIGNING CLASS
On Wednesday, University of Oklahoma head softball coach Patty Gasso announced the signing of Texarkana (Texas) College’s Haley Nix to an NCAA National Letter of Intent. Nix, a native of Daingerfield, Texas, will begin competing for the Sooners during the 2009-10 academic year.
Nix comes to Oklahoma from Texarkana College, where she has been a standout the past two seasons. She has seen time at both first base and in the outfield.
As a freshman, Nix became the first rookie Bulldog to earn NJCAA All-American honors. Nix was a 2008 first team NJCAA Region XIV honoree and named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Midwest Region second team. As a result, she was named a second team All-American by the NFCA and to the third team by the NJCAA. Nix led the Bulldogs to the 2008 Region XIV east zone championship.
In her first season, she hit .429, registering 85 hits and scoring 52 runs. She totaled 53 RBI and nine home runs. Nix broke the TC single season records for slugging percentage (.747) and doubles (24).
Currently in the midst of her sophomore campaign, Nix is hitting .508 with 90 hits, 53 runs scored, 65 RBI and nine home runs. She has already claimed the school’s career records for RBI (118), hits (175) and doubles (43). Nix is on pace to break the single season hits record and recently set the new mark in the season RBI category.
As a prep, Nix played at Daingerfield (Texas) High School. While there, she was an All-State selection in 2007 and a three-team All-District 17-2A first team member. She earned Offensive Most Valuable Player honors from the Texarkana Gazette and Longview News Journal and was named to the All-East Texas team. As a senior at DHS, Nix hit .750 with 72 hits, 46 RBI and six home runs. A four-year letterwinner in volleyball, Nix was named offensive MVP for the district and a first team selection in the sport.
Nix is the daughter of Paula and Dennis Nix and intends to major in health and exercise science at Oklahoma.