The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

June 2, 2012

Sooners slide past Golden Bears, a win away from WCWS finals

OKLAHOMA CITY — Everything is falling into place for Oklahoma. After what happened Friday night at Hall of Fame Stadium, the Sooners are going to have a hard time to keep from playing for a national championship beginning Monday night.

There’s no other way to describe it after fourth-ranked OU’s 3-0 victory over No. 1 Cal.

Once again, junior pitcher Keilani Ricketts was fantastic in the circle. She struck out 16 and allowed two hits. In the game’s most important frame, she even overcame a very questionable decision from her coach.

At the plate, the Sooners were not prolific, but effective enough. They only put five hits together, but one of them was an RBI double from freshman phenom Lauren Chamberlain that plated the only run they would need and another was a home run from Georgia Casey, who interrupted a postseason slump to offer a huge bit of insurance with a shot that very nearly cleared the left-field bleachers.

Who drove the other run home?

Ricketts, on a bases loaded walk, a consequence of Cal pitcher Jolene Henderson treating her a little too carefully.

The Sooners have the day off today. Sunday, they’ll have two chances to win one game against Cal, South Florida or LSU to reach the best-of-three series that will crown the nation champion.

They are close

It began with Ricketts.

“She throws the ball hard and … she paints the corners,” Cal second baseman Jace Williams said. “Her changeup was on. It was dropping off the table … She came out and threw a great ballgame.”

Ricketts saved her very best for two jams that easily could have produced a very different game.

In the second inning, she led off by issuing one of her two walks to Franci Echavarria, who was followed by Williams, whose chopper single put two on with nobody out. Ricketts responded by striking out Breana Kostreba and Danielle Henderson, then got Victoria Jones to line weakly out.

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