April 12, 2010

Courtesy of Oklahoma Athletics

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The 11th ranked University of Oklahoma softball team swept 21st-ranked Texas A&M for the first time in four road series meetings on Sunday afternoon at the Aggie Softball Complex. OU jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and were fueled by a five-run sixth inning to win 9-4. Keilani Ricketts got the win in relief and Amber Flores hit her 11th home run of the season.

The Sooners scored two runs in each of the first innings. Chana'e Jones drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jessica Shults was hit by a pitch and Lindsey Vandever walked to load the bases for OU. Haley Nix drove in Jones on a single through the right side and Shults scored after Dani Dobbs was hit by a pitch.

Oklahoma added two runs in the second when Brianna Turang walked and Flores hit a two-out home run to left center. The blast was her 11th of the season and 52nd of her career, five shy of tying the Big 12 career record.

The Aggies crept back into the game with single runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings. Melissa Dumezich led off the third with a double and scored on a Lauren Schwirtlich single up the middle. The Aggies added the second run when OU walked the bases loaded to start the inning and pinch runner Andrea Tovar scored on a ground out by Macie Morrow.

With a potential momentum swing on the horizon, Oklahoma silenced the A&M crowd in the top of the sixth. With two outs, the Sooners plated five total runs to push the lead to 9-2. Pinch hitter Katie Norris brought across a run after being hit by a pitch and Flores drove in two on a long single that hit off the center field wall. Singles by Shults and Vandever each plated the final two runs.

The Aggies threatened in the bottom of the seventh. Back-to-back walks from Schwirtlich and Sydney Shannon gave Texas A&M two runners aboard. Alex Reynolds then came through with a two-out single to score Schwirtlich. Base runner Bailey Schroeder then scored on Oklahoma's only error of the weekend to pull A&M to within five.

Flores led the way, going 2-for-4 with four runs batted in. Shults ended the afternoon 2-for-2 with one run scored, one driven in and one walk.

Ricketts moved to 20-8 on the year, pitching 3.0 innings in relief. She allowed one hit and walked three while striking out seven. Starter Michelle Gascoigne allowed two earned runs on two hits, walked three and struck out four. Allee Allen pitched the final inning, allowing one earned run on one hit with two walks and two strike outs.

The Sooners return home to Norman to face Texas Tech in a doubleheader on Thursday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. CT at the OU Softball Complex. Oklahoma hosts 16th-ranked Texas in a pivotal Big 12 matchup next weekend.