It may not have been the most conventional Keilani Ricketts no-hitter (her sixth this year, by the way), but a no-hitter nonetheless it was and the first in five years at the Women's College World Series.
The lone Michigan run is obviously somewhat misleading with respect to Ricketts' no-hit performance, but it was the result of one error and a second should have been error that actually allowed the Wolverines to jump out to a 1-0 lead early in the top of the third inning
However, Oklahoma would immediately answer in the home half of the third with four runs of their own and that lead would never again be in jeopardy. Ricketts' final line of seven innings pitched, zero hits, one run allowed (unearned), twelve strikeouts and two walks pretty much says it all. But for those of us who have watched her all year long, there was something different about her Thursday night. She always throws hard, but her pitches seemed to have an extra zip on them. She and this team know this is a business trip for them and their enjoyment will come after they take care of what they need to take care of.
In the meantime, Lauren Chamberlain is ridiculously good. Just needed to be said.
The OU sophomore continued her assault on the sport of softball with a two-run home run in the fourth that almost bounced to the plate, but she went down after it and deposited the ball halfway up the center field stands. The blast was her 28th on the season and 58th of her career (the NCAA record for career home runs is 90).
@soonersoftball I think there is a legit argument that Brianna Turang is the most underrated player in the country. So there's that.— Jordan Esco (@Jordan_Esco) May 30, 2013
I only post this here not to draw attention to myself, but because this drew the attention of several people yesterday on Twitter and Thursday night Turang made me look very smart. Despite batting from the No. 9 hole virtually the entire season, she has been the catalyst for this offense all year long. It's really quite remarkable just how good she is at what she does and how little credit, outside of Norman, she gets for being that good.
The thing that stood out most about this game was Oklahoma's depth. What we told you in our preview was that what makes this team so special offensively is that as an opposing pitcher you never get to catch your breath. From one through nine, every batter is a legitimate threat to create havoc. They are an absolute nightmare to pitch to and we all witnessed Michigan's Sara Driesenga live out that nightmare Thursday evening in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma now advances on to the winner's bracket where they will face conference foe and hated rival, the Texas Longhorns. The game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on ESPN.
We should have a preview for tonight's game up later today.