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February 9, 2013

Ricketts opens with no-hitter

NORMAN — Behind a dominating day at the plate from Lauren Chamberlain and a no-hitter from Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma started its season off 2-0 with a pair of wins over Stanford and Oregon State on Friday.

In the first game of the day, against Stanford, Ricketts picked up where she left off a year ago. Last season’s USA Softball Player of the 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-bat 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.

Chamberlain, who went 2 for 2 with a home run in the opener, followed it up with another 2-for-2 performance against Oregon State that included a grand slam. Both hits were bombs that cleared the park, giving her six RBIs in the game and three home runs on the first day of the season.

Michelle Gascoigne earned the win in the second game, striking out nine while giving up two earned runs.

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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