NORMAN, Okla. – Katie Norris hit her first career walk-off home run and Keilani Ricketts struck out 15 as 15th-ranked Oklahoma rallied to down 19th-ranked Texas A&M 2-0 on Saturday afternoon at the OU Softball Complex. The Sooners (34-14, 7-6 Big 12) got seven hits off A&M starter Melissa Dumezich and Ricketts held the Aggie to one hit on the afternoon as she threw her 22nd career shutout.
Ricketts faced the minimum in the first three innings, allowing a leadoff third-inning single to Kelsey Spittler who was eventually caught stealing on a strikeout to end the inning.
OU got two runners aboard with back-to-back one-out singles from Chana’e Jones and Haley Nix in the first, but the pair was left stranded to end the frame. Norris was hit by a pitch with two outs in the second and OU had three runners on base in third but had two base runners caught stealing to keep the game scoreless.
Ricketts issued a leadoff walk to Natalie Villarreal in the fourth and Villarreal stole second before Ricketts retired three straight via the strikeout to end the inning. A&M’s best scoring opportunity came in the fifth when Dumezich walked and pinch runner Emily Albus stole second before moving to third on a groundout for Spittler. Ricketts struck out Cassie Tysarczyk to end the threat.
Dumezich retired OU in order in the fourth and sixth innings and got help from the defense to end the fifth with just one runner left on base.
Ricketts came through in the final two innings – striking out two of the three batters she faced in the sixth and getting another strikeout-caught stealing double play to end the seventh after walking Amber Garza.
Dani Dobbs reached on a bloop leadoff single in the bottom half of the seventh and was thrown out at second as pinch hitter Haley McGregor reached on a fielder’s choice. Norris then sent a line drive to left field that cleared the fence to give the Sooners the 2-0 win.
Norris ended the day 1-for-2 with the two-run home run. Chana’e Jones had a 2-for-3 showing batting in the second spot in the lineup. Destinee Martinez and Brianna Turang also had hits for OU.
Ricketts (21-10) threw her 25th complete game of the year, allowing the one hit and three walks. Her 15 strikeouts give her 339 on the year, 17 shy of the tying the Oklahoma single season record (356 by Jill Most in 1996).
Spittler managed A&M’s only hit. Dumezich (20-8) allowed the two earned runs on seven hits. She struck out five.