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February 8, 2013

Ricketts opens season with no-hitter

NORMAN — Keilani Ricketts picked up this season where she left off a year ago. The USA Softball Player of the Year last year pitched a no-hitter against Stanford in the season opener on Friday, a 6-0 Oklahoma victory.

It was the second no-hitter of Ricketts’ career and came on 14 strikeouts. She also added a home run in the first inning as the Sooners jumped out to a 5-0 lead in their first at-bats of the season.

“I think I came in really confident and relaxed because we had already gotten ahead with a huge lead so I didn’t have pressure on me,” Ricketts said.

While Ricketts was dealing on the mound, a potent OU offense was having its way at the plate. The Sooners belted four home runs on the day, with fellow All-Americans Jessica Shults and Lauren Chamberlain both adding long balls while sophomore transfer Shelby Pendley had the first home run of her Sooner career.

It was exactly the kind of start to the season the Sooners were looking for, coach Patty Gasso said.

“I think the beginning of this game was them waiting about eight months to release some things that had been held in for a while,” she said. “I thought we came out attacking.”

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