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June 5, 2013

Commentary: That’s the way a team for the ages wins it all

OKLAHOMA CITY — Really, that’s about right. 

On the day Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso saves the nation’s best pitcher for a possible winner-take-all national championship game, the nation’s best pitcher’s back-up tosses a shutout and the nation’s best pitcher rips a three-run home run and drives in all four Sooner runs.

Think about it and is there a better example of one, Keilani Ricketts’ dominion over the college game; and two, the Sooners’ collective dominance?

The backup dominates the circle and the player of the year, on a night off, knocks the cover off the ball.

Perfect.

Before this Women’s College World Series began, Gasso said, “You’ll see both of them,” when asked about her two-headed pitching monster that’s mostly Ricketts but a fair dose of Michelle Gascoigne, and after Ricketts tossed all 12 innings of Monday night’s Best Game in the History of the Sport, Gasso proved herself a truth-teller by unveiling her other lefty for the first time since the World Series began.

Gascoigne responded by throwing the Sooners’ best game of their Hall of Fame Stadium stay and maybe the entire postseason. 

Though it wasn’t a no-hitter, nor did she give up a run and the Vols’ three baserunners, only one advancing more than 60 feet, tied a postseason low for Sooner opponents. All of that and the night Marist put three on base, Ricketts only had to throw five innings.

Gascoigne struck out 11, including Lexi Overstreet, to end it looking on a pull-the-string change-up.  She was rewarded with a spot at the bottom of the Sooner dogpile.

Thirteen years ago when the Sooners last won it all, confusion accompanied the final out when UCLA’s Crissy Buck prematurely stepped off first base. This time OU did it up right. 

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