NORMAN, Okla. – The 12th-ranked University of Oklahoma softball team defeated the Utah Utes by a final of 12-1 in five innings Friday evening. The Sooners moved to 17-3 on the season, while the Utes fell to 10-7. Oklahoma is now 13-5 against Utah and 3-1 in games played in Norman.
Utah opened up the scoring in the top of the first on a solo home run by sophomore Whitney Holm. The home run was her third of the season.
The Sooners quickly struck back in the bottom half of the inning as junior Chana’e Jones reached on a walk and senior Amber Flores was hit by a pitch. Freshman Jessica Shults followed suit, also reaching on a walk. In the next at-bat senior Lindsey Vandever walked to bring in OU’s first run of the game. With the bases still loaded, freshman pitcher Keilani Ricketts turned on a 2-2 pitch for her first career grand slam to give OU a 5-1 edge.
The Sooners tacked on four more runs in the second inning as sophomore Karolyne Long hit a leadoff double and later advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. Jones drove in Long with an bunt single and consecutive walks by Flores and Shults loaded the bases for Vandever, who hit a two- double scoring Jones and Flores. Junior Katie Norris later added another run on a bases loaded hit-by-pitch to push OU ahead 9-1.
In the fourth with the bases loaded, Long earned an on a hit by pitch scoring junior Krystle Huey. Ricketts added another run when she was sent home by the umpire on an illegal pitch by Utah. Flores brought in the game’s final run on an single, scoring Long from third to make the tally 12-1.
Ricketts led OU going 1-for-2 with four of her runs batted in all coming on the grand slam. Vandever had another big night, going 1-for-2 with three .
Ricketts moved to 11-3 on the year, pitching her eighth complete game. Ricketts gave up only one run on three hits and had four strikeouts.
The Sooners are back in action tomorrow as they will host a doubleheader starting at 2:30 p.m. CT against Northern Iowa. OU will play Utah again starting approximately at 4:45 p.m. CT.