Softball Rallies to Beat Utah, 9-5

NORMAN, Okla. – The 12th-ranked University of Oklahoma came from behind Saturday evening to defeat Utah 9-5 and improve to 3-0 at the Oklahoma Spring Festival. The Sooners (19-3) entered the fifth inning down 2-1 but came alive to rally back to take the lead. Senior Amber Flores scored on a Lindsey Vandever double and then Katie Norris drew a bases load walk to give OU a 3-2 advantage. Junior Dani Dobbs then delivered a bases clearing double to put Oklahoma up 6-2.

Utah (10-9) took the early lead in the first when senior Kara Foster led off with a double and scored on an sacrifice fly by Whitney Holm.

The Sooners tied the game up in the bottom of the second. Freshman outfielder Brianna Turang reached base on a single to second and came around to score on Norris’ infield single to short.

The Utes regained the lead in the third when Brooke Olson scored on a single up the middle by Jasey Jansen.

The Sooners went into the fifth inning trailing for just the fourth time this season. Flores and freshman Jessica Shults led off with back-to-back walks before Vandever’s double scored Flores. Freshman Brianna Turang then reached on a fielder’s choice that saw everyone safe. After recording the inning’s first out, Norris drew a walk on four straight pitches to bring home Shults. Dobbs then came through, putting a hard hit ball into the gap in center field to score Vandever, Norris and Turang. Oklahoma scored five runs on just two hits in the inning.

Utah fought back in the top of the sixth inning, clawing away to scored three runs and pull to within one. After recording the inning’s first out, three Utes reached base on back-to-back-to-back singles. Lindsey Palmer’s sacrifice fly brought in one run before Haylee Hoch hit a pinch-hit two-run double to cut the gap to 6-5.

Oklahoma countered with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Flores and Shults again led off with back-to-back walks and Vandever reached on a fielding error before Turang singled to load the bases. Flores then scored on a passed ball to give OU a 7-5 lead. Norris reached on a throwing error that scored Vandever and Turang to push the score to the final margin of 9-5.

Dobbs’ only hit of the night scored the three runs. Turang ended the evening 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Flores went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and two walks drawn. Shults drew a season-high three walks.

Freshman pitcher Michelle Gascoigne moved to 3-0 on the season, pitching 2.1 innings in relief of starter Kirsten Allen. Gascoigne surrendered three runs on two hits and had one strikeout. Freshman Keilani Ricketts pitched the final 1.2 innings to record her second save of the year. Ricketts gave up just one hit.

The Sooners close out the Oklahoma Spring Festival Sunday afternoon at 12:15 p.m. CT against Northern Iowa. Fans are reminded to spring forward by setting clocks ahead one hour before bedtime Saturday night.

Updated 03-14-2010

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