May 23, 2010

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The 14th-seeded University of Oklahoma softball team scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to move past Fordham, 2-0, and advance to NCAA Super Regional play. The Sooners (46-10) got a complete game shutout from Keilani Ricketts and capitalized on a miscue by the Rams (49-12) to extend the fifth allowing the runs to score.

Ricketts struck out 11 batters, one shy of the Oklahoma NCAA Regional record held by Kami Keiter. Despite five walks, Ricketts allowed just two hits. Throughout the double-elimination bracket, Ricketts did not allow a single run as Oklahoma out-scored opponents 13-0.

Pinch hitter Evan Sallis drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Amber Flores. Jessica Shults was intentionally walked before Haley Nix reached on a dropped fly ball to left field. The dropped ball resulted in Sallis scoring from second and should have been the third out of the inning. Shults then scored on a single up the middle by Ricketts to give OU a 2-0 lead.

Shults ended the game 2-for-2 with two walks, one of them intentional. Starting her first game at designated player since her freshman season, junior Chana'e Jones went 2-for-3.

The Sooners appeared in their 13th NCAA Regional final under head coach Patty Gasso and won the program's ninth regional championship.

Samantha Pellechio and Jessica Richards collected the hits for Fordham. Rams pitcher Jen Mineau went the distance with seven hits and three walks. Mineau struck out five.

Oklahoma advances to play the winner of the Seattle Regional. That regional will decided later Sunday. Should host school Washington, the overall No. 3 seed and defending national champion, win the regional, OU would travel to Seattle with dates and times to be determined. All games of the NCAA Super Regionals will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.