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OU Softball World Series Bound After Win Over Arizona

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The Sooners are on their way to the Women's College World Series thanks to a 7-1 win over Arizona. The Sooners are on their way to the Women's College World Series thanks to a 7-1 win over Arizona.
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma softball team punched its ticket to the Women's College World Series for the seventh time after Saturday's 7-1 victory over Arizona.

It's the second year in a row the Sooners swept the Wildcats and now OU moves on to open play at the WCWS on Thursday against South Florida.

Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts was once again stellar on the mound and at the plate. In all, Ricketts struck out 13 Arizona batters for her 23rd double-digit strikeout game of the season and the 60th of her career.

The Sooners jumped out to an early lead plating five runs in just the first inning. Georgia Casey led off the day with a walk before moving to second on a wild pitch. The Sooners had runners on the corners for Lauren Chamberlain after Destinee Martinez raced to first to outrun a throw off a single to the pitcher. Chamberlain drew a walk to load the bases for Ricketts who singled to left center to bring home Casey. Jessica Shults followed by also drawing a walk to bring in Martinez.

An error from Arizona's third baseman Brigette Del Ponte allowed both Shults and Sampson to come in to score.

Oklahoma's five run advantage stayed that way until the fifth when Shults led off with a solo shot for her 19th home run of the season and the 53rd of her career.

Chamberlain later added a solo shot of her own over the left field fence to extend Oklahoma's lead to seven runs. Chamberlain's 27 home runs this season ties her for 11th all-time in NCAA single-season history.

Arizona picked up its lone run of the Super Regional in the sixth when an error from OU's Javen Henson at third base allowed Karissa Buchanan to reach home.

"I just can't tell you how proud I am of this team to have come so far and work so hard to get here and knowing that we're playing our best softball right now," said OU Head Coach Patty Gasso. "To know what's ahead of us and know that we're playing our best right now is really, really exciting. You didn't see a lot of dog piling out there and I think it's because this team knows that there is going to be one dog pile that they're going to save it for and that's in Oklahoma City. It's almost the expectation, hey let's get this done and move forward. They came out ready to play from the start, loose and comfortable, on fire."

Ricketts allowed just one walk on the day while giving up just three hits on the afternoon. Oklahoma is now 50-8 on the season while Arizona fell to 38-19.

The NCAA is expected to name game times for Thursday on Sunday evening.

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