Nix leads Sooners past Texas Tech
Senior goes 3-for-4 to help Oklahoma split series
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Haley Nix went 3-for-4 with a three-run home run to propel 15th-ranked Oklahoma past Texas Tech Saturday morning 7-6. The Sooners (29-10, 2-2 Big 12) scored six runs in the first inning and had 11 hits on the day to split the series with the Red Raiders (36-4, 2-2 Big 12). Texas Tech capitalized off two OU miscues in the seventh to score five runs. OU starter Keilani Ricketts allowed six runs, four of them earned, on eight hits and struck out seven to move to 17-6 on the year.
Brianna Turang beat out an infield single in the first and stole second to give OU a runner in scoring position for Jessica Shults. Shults drew a walk and the pair scored on Nix's sixth home run of the year to give OU an early 3-0 lead.
Brittany Williams drew her league-leading 38th walk of the year and came around to score on Ricketts' sixth home run of the year to push the Sooners in front 5-0.
Dani Dobbs reached on a single, moved to second on an illegal pitch and advanced to third on a Katie Norris single. Dobbs then scored on a Destinee Martinez single as OU led 6-0 through the top half of the first.
Mikey Kenney and Cydney Allen both reached on hit by pitches with two outs in the bottom half and a walk to Emily Bledsoe loaded the bases for Texas Tech. Ricketts struck out Sandy James to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.
Nix reached on a one-out infield single in the second and Ricketts followed with a hard-hit infield base hit but both were left stranded to end the inning.
Oklahoma extended the lead to 7-0 in the third on a solo home run to right field by Chana'e Jones. Turang reached on a two-out single but was left on base to end the inning.
Logan Hall registered Tech's first hit of the morning with a leadoff bloop single up the middle in the third. Stephanie Drewry drew a walk to give the Red Raiders two runners aboard. The two advanced a base on a passed ball but were unable to come around as OU continued to lead 7-0 through three innings.
Nix kept her bat hot with a leadoff line drive single back up the middle to start the fourth. Ricketts reached after being hit by a pitch but Dobbs grounded into a double play to end the frame.
OU went down in order in the fifth and sixth innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Kenney led off with a double to end a stretch of nine straight batters retired by Ricketts. Allen singled up the middle in the next at-bat to score Kenney and end Ricketts' shutout bid.
Ricketts reached on a one-out walk in the seventh but was left on base. Down to its final three outs, Tech's Holly Gentsch reached on an infield hit and advanced to second on a throwing error before moving to third on a pinch hit single by Randi Tongate.
Pinch runner Meredith Heath scored on a fielder's choice from Hall before Drewry reached on a fielder's choice that saw Hall safe at second on an error.
Kenney then cleared the bases with a double down the left field line and scored on Allen's single to right field to cut the lead to 7-5. Bledsoe reached on a fielder's choice and came around on a double to left center by James. Ricketts struck out Raven Richardson to end the game.
In addition to Nix's 3-for-4 performance, Ricketts went 2-for-2 at the plate. Turang also went 2-for-4. Kenney and Allen each went 2-for-3 for Tech with Kenney driving in two runs and scoring two on the day.
Red Raider starter Brittany Talley (11-3) pitched just one-third of an inning, allowing five earned runs on three hits and two walks. Kermitria Ward pitched 4.0 innings, giving up two earned runs on eight hits before Karli Merlich threw the final 2.2 innings.
Oklahoma continues its current four-game road trip with a doubleheader at Kansas Wednesday beginning at 4 p.m. CT.