2013 NCAA Softball Championship | Norman Regional

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Sooners Advance To Super Regionals With 14-1 Win

Oklahoma came into Sunday's game with the luxury knowing they had two games if they needed it, but as they've done all year long this team wasn't taking anything for granted.

The Sooners quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning before putting up five runs in the third, six more in the fourth, and two in the fifth to punch their ticket into the Super Regionals.

On a day where their ace Keilani Ricketts did not have her best stuff getting pulled after just two and two-thirds, the OU offense had her back and made quick work of Arkansas. As she has done a number of times this season, Michelle Gascoigne came on in relief of Ricketts and shut down the opponent allowing just one hit (a solo home run).

We mentioned the offense and there was certainly a lot of it on Sunday. Lauren Chamberlain continues to prove why she is the best hitter in the sport launching a three run home run over the center field bleachers. Chamberlain now has 27 home runs on the season and 57 for her career (she's just a sophomore, by the way) which moves her into sole possession of second place on the all-time OU record books. Big 12 Player of the Year Shelby Pendley went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a home run of her own. Javen Henson also hit her first home run on the season, a two run shot in the fifth.

With the win, Oklahoma advances on to the Super Regionals and will face the winner of Sunday's match-up between Texas A&M and Baylor.


Regional Final | Oklahoma vs. Arkansas

Arkansas staved off elimination Saturday night with a 5-2 win over Fordham and will now have a rematch with the No. 1 overall seed Oklahoma on Sunday.

The Sooners need just one win to advance to the Super Regionals, which they would again host on their home field. Arkansas however would need to win twice to advance and eliminate Oklahoma in what would be considered a monumental upset.

It will be interesting to see how Arkansas approaches this first game from a pitching standpoint as they used their ace Saturday night against Fordham instead of earlier in the day during their first meeting with the Sooners.

First pitch is scheduled for just after 1 p.m. (CST) and once again we'll be here to give you updates as they happen. Feel free to watch/listen with us on ESPN3 or on Sportstalk 1400.



Sooners Are Tested, But Respond With A 10-5 Win

If you watched the ESPN broadcast of Oklahoma's game against Arkansas on Saturday, you might have been confused with the final 10-5 score and the fact OU was victorious. The ESPN announce team, who have been brutally bad through the first two Oklahoma games, seemed confused as to either who was actually winning or who is the consensus No. 1 team in the country. So much so that as they signed off they proclaimed the team that had just lost 10-5, to the aforementioned No. 1 team in the country, a "force to be reckoned with."

Yes, that's right ladies. The team that lost, and isn't No. 1, and isn't hosting this regional is a "force to be reckoned with." Good call, idiots.

Moving on to the actual game, despite the stupidity of the announcers Arkansas did test Oklahoma in this one getting as close as one after a four run sixth inning that made it a 6-5 game. However, the Sooners would answer with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning and pretty much seal things. Three of those four runs would come off the bat of Lauren Chamberlain who drilled a bases loaded double over the center fielder's head to clear the bases. Chamberlain finished the game 2-for-3 with two walks, five RBI, and two runs which helped her break the school and Big 12 single season record for runs scored.

Prior to that sixth inning, OU starter Keilani Ricketts had been cruising through the Arkansas lineup but seemed to get a little rattled. It was hard not to remember last year's championship series where she suffered a somewhat similar fate against Alabama. However one of the biggest differences in this year's team compared to last year is the confidence they have in Michelle Gascoigne. Oklahoma's 1A starter has come on in relief of Ricketts in big spots a number of times this year and did so again in the sixth with two on and two outs. Gascoigne promptly struck out the first batter she faced and put an end to the Razorback rally.

Other solid performances for Oklahoma in this game included Brittany Williams who went 3-for-3 with a solo home run and two RBI.

To be honest, a little adversity for this loaded OU team wasn't necessarily a bad thing. We saw how they responded to it last year against Alabama and none of us want a repeat of that. So this test today and their immediate response to it will be something Patty Gasso can point to as they move forward towards their goal of a return trip to Oklahoma City.

With the win, Oklahoma advances to tomorrow's regional final which is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CST). Their opponent for that game will be determined later today as Arkansas, Marist, and Fordham battle it out for the "privilege" to play the Sooners on Sunday.


Oklahoma vs. Arkansas Open Thread

After winning their respective games on Friday, Oklahoma and Arkansas will square off against one another Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. (CST). The winner will advance to Sunday and would have to lose twice tomorrow to be eliminated, while the loser of this game will have to play again later tonight in an elimination game.

As you know by now, the Sooners are the No. 1 team in the country and NCAA Championship. While Arkansas hails from arguably the toughest softball conference in the country. Of the three teams that made the trip to Norman, the Razorbacks were always the one who could give Oklahoma the greatest challenge.

After just three innings of work last night, expect Keilani Ricketts to be in the circle again for Oklahoma. Should be a good game and we'll be here to watch and provide updates. Feel free to join us and watch along on ESPN3 or listen on Sportstalk 1400.


Sooners Cruise To 17-0 Win Over Marist

It went pretty much as expected Friday night in Norman with the No. 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners cruising to an easy 17-0 victory over an outmatched Marist team.

Oklahoma got off to a quick start sending twelve batters to the plate in the bottom half of the first and putting eight runs on the board. Keilani Ricketts came to the plate with the bases loaded and drove home all three runners to give OU an early 3-0 lead. Brittany Wiliams would follow to drive Ricketts in then later score herself after a Marist error. Lauren Chamberlain would cap the first inning scoring with a three-run home run to left center.

The Sooners would add another in their half of the second before exploding for another eight runs in the third. Oklahoma took advantage of eight Marist walks and maintained their disciplined approach at the plate even with the temptation of some free swings in a game that was over early.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma's pitchers were dominant as usual. Ricketts started the game and went the first three innings recording seven strikeouts on her nine possible outs and only allowing one hit. Michelle Gascoigne came on in relief and despite some minor control issues, pitched the final two innings without allowing a hit or run and recording five strikeouts of her own.

With the win, the Sooners advance to the winner's half of their regional bracket and will face Arkansas who beat Fordham 5-1 in the game earlier Friday afternoon. First pitch for the OU vs. Arkansas game is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CST) on Saturday and the game can be seen once again on ESPN3 or on the radio at Sportstalk 1400.

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