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Oklahoma Bests Alabama In Opening Game

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Keilani Ricketts kept the Alabama offense from gaining momentum in the contest, lifting Oklahoma to a win (AP Photo). Keilani Ricketts kept the Alabama offense from gaining momentum in the contest, lifting Oklahoma to a win (AP Photo).
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma Sooners claimed a 4-1 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide Monday in the opening game of the Women's College World Series Championship Series Monday thanks to yet another big outing from Keilani Ricketts.

The junior was dominant from the circle, keeping the Alabama bats in check, giving up just five hits and one earned run, striking out 12 in her complete-game performance for the Sooners. Ricketts' only earned run came in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly to score opposing pitcher Jackie Traina to give Alabama a 1-0 lead.

However, that wouldn't last long as the Sooners hung two on the board in the next half-inning. Lindsey Chamberlain drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a single from Ricketts. Jessica Shults followed with a sacrifice fly to bring Chamberlain home and tie the game.

Three at-bats later, Brianna Turang reached on a fielder's choice, bringing Amy Vandever home from third, giving the Sooners a 2-1 advantage.

Oklahoma doubled its lead in the top of the sixth, capitalizing on Alabama miscues in the half inning. Destinee Martinez reached on a throwing error in the first at-bat of the inning, Ricketts reached on a fielding error in the next at-bat, allowing Martinez to reach third. Shults followed with a single to left field, bringing Martinez home and giving Oklahoma a two-run lead.

Katie Norris laid down a sacrifice bunt in the following at-bat to bring Ricketts home and the Sooners' advantage to 4-1.

Traina pitched a complete game as well, but didn't fare as well, allowing four runs on 11 hits in her seven innings for the Crimson Tide.

Oklahoma is now one win away from claiming its second National Championship, attempting to close out Alabama at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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