Though Gascoigne never needed the other half of OU’s dominant pitching duo to relieve her in the circle, Ricketts did have her back at the plate. With two on in the third inning, Ricketts lifted an inside pitch well over the right field wall to put OU on the board.
That was all the run support Gascoigne would need as she frustrated the Tennessee lineup repeatedly on her way to the victory.
The one-two punch of Ricketts and Gascoigne, or as Gasso called them, the “one-A, one-B” punch carried the Sooners all season as they led the nation in team ERA on the way to a 57-4 team record. And, while outsiders may have been shocked, Tuesday’s turn of events didn’t surprise Gasso at all.
“To give her this opportunity was a big moment for her, and what I love is that Keilani was right there with it saying, ‘Yeah, go ahead, let’s do this and to share the moment together,’” Gasso said. “Keilani has had a ton of big moments, and the fact that she was wanting to share this with Michelle, I think probably helped Michelle get on the mound and say, ‘I’ve got this. Let me do this for us.’
“And, man, what a phenomenal game that Michelle threw. Couldn’t be on a bigger stage. Michelle stood on the mound and won a National Championship.”
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