TUCSON, Arizona – The University of Oklahoma softball team used eight hits to score six runs and shutout the Arizona Wildcats 6-0 in the opening round of Super Regional play.
No. 9 OU, scored four of its six runs with two outs and Sooner starter Keilani Ricketts threw her 23rd career shutout in the win striking out 13 and allowing seven hits and two walks.
Arizona's Kenzie Fowler got out to a good start retiring eight straight batters to start the game, but the Sooners quickly responded.
With two out, Cierra Hughes hit a ball over the center fielders for a double. Destinee Martinez then reached on an error to give the Sooners runners at the corners. Then, Brianna Turang scored Hughes by placing the ball in shallow left field as the Sooners led 1-0 through three.
Arizona threatened in the bottom half of the inning. Brittany Lastrapes got a two-out single off Ricketts glove and Schutzler followed with an infield single before Bridget Del Ponte drew her second walk of the game to load the bases. Stacie Chambers grounded out to Ricketts to end the inning.
In the fourth, Brittany Williams walked to lead off the inning then Chana'e Jones squeezed a hit just inside the left field line to advance pinch runner Ali Vandever to second and put two runners on. Dani Dobbs walked to load the bases and a sacrifice fly from Katie Norris scored Vandever to give OU the 2-0 advantage.
OU wasn't done yet. Martinez then singled to score Jones and Dobbs and Martinez scored from first when Turang knocked a ball to left center to push the lead to 5-0.
In the fifth, OU loaded the bases after Ricketts was hit by a pitch and pinch runner Haley McGregor advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Vandever. Jones and Dobbs drew back-to-back walks to load the bases but the Sooners grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Ricketts added a home fun in the top of the seventh off the in right center for her seventh home run of the season to go up 6-0.
In the bottom of the seventh frame, the Wildcats threatened a comeback one last time after Lastrapes was hit by a pitch, then Schutlzer hit an infield single. Lastrapes advanced to third on a fly out by Del Ponte but Ricketts struck out Chambers looking and got Koria to fly out to center to end the game.
OU's 1-2 hitters, Turang and Martinez, drove in four of Oklahoma's six runs. The Sooners tallied eight hits in the game and recorded five of their eight hits with two outs in addition to the four runs scored with two outs.
Fowler went 4.0 innings for the Wildcats, allowing five runs, four of them earned, on five hits and walked two before Shelby Babcock took over in the fifth and pitched the final three innings. Babcock gave up the home run to Ricketts and allowed three hits and two walks.
Game two of the best-of-three series is set for Saturday at 4 p.m. CST on ESPN.