OU Sooners Top Tennessee For Softball Title
KSCB News - June 4, 2013 10:11 pm
Keilani Ricketts homered and drove in four runs, Michelle Gascoigne pitched a three-hit shutout and top-seeded Oklahoma won the NCAA softball championship by beating Tennessee 4-0 on Tuesday night in Game 2 of the Women’s College World Series finals.
Ricketts, the national player of the year, drove a 2-1 pitch from Ivy Renfroe (22-5) halfway up the right-field bleachers for a three-run home run in the third inning and tacked on an RBI groundout in the seventh.
Ricketts got the night off in the circle after throwing a career-high 12 innings in Game 1 and moving to 35-1 on the season, but that just put the other half of her well-rounded game on display. She hit her 15th home run of the season and pushed her RBI total to 60.
No. 7 seed Tennessee (52-12) managed just three singles against Gascoigne (19-3), who struck out 12 and didn’t walk anyone.
Ricketts, who was the designated player, was the first one charging out of the dugout when Gascoigne struck out pinch-hitter Lexi Overstreet looking to wrap up the Sooners’ second national championship. Oklahoma (57-4) also won it all in 2000 and was the runner-up to Alabama last season.
The Sooners were a dominant force all season long, carrying the No. 1 ranking from the first week of the regular season and leading the nation in both scoring and earned-run average. It took a captivating 11th-inning rally for them to beat Tennessee in Game 1, with a dropped pop-up sparking a three-run outburst before Lauren Chamberlain’s 30th home run of the season won it in the 12th.
Both teams went with their second-string starters after that marathon, in which Ricketts and Ellen Renfroe — Ivy’s younger sister — both had shutouts through 10 innings.