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Oklahoma softball: Keilani Ricketts and Sooners beat the heat as they hold off Arkansas

The Sooners won Saturday's game 10-5 and will play in the regional final on Sunday.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Published: May 18, 2013
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photo - Sooner Keilani Ricketts hits at the Norman Regional of the 2013 NCAA Division I Softball Women's College World Series as the University of Oklahoma (OU) Sooners play the Arkansas Razorbacks at Marita Hines Field on Saturday, May 18, 2013  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Sooner Keilani Ricketts hits at the Norman Regional of the 2013 NCAA Division I Softball Women's College World Series as the University of Oklahoma (OU) Sooners play the Arkansas Razorbacks at Marita Hines Field on Saturday, May 18, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Then Ricketts hit the next batter, allowed a single, threw a wild pitch to advance both of those runners, walked the next batter and then gave up a two-run single. She also had several pitches during that time that catcher Jessica Shults saved from going astray. 

Gasso pulled Ricketts, and Michelle Gascoigne pitched three straight strikes to get the third out of the inning. 

“It was definitely huge,” Ricketts said of Gascoigne's quick out. “Our team definitely fed off of that.”

The Sooners gave themselves some breathing room in the bottom of the sixth when, with two outs, Callie Parsons knocked an RBI double and Lauren Chamberlain hit a three-run double to give Oklahoma the 10-5 lead.

Gascoigne, with the help of a double play, faced four batters in the top of the seventh. She shouted as she joined her teammates to celebrate another postseason victory.

Gasso said Friday night she was likely not going to start Gascoigne on Saturday because Oklahoma's No. 2 pitcher was having problems with things like her rosin bag collecting too much moisture. Oklahoma's coach did not say whom she would start on Sunday. However, she knew Ricketts' work and her team's defense that led to Saturday's victory were important for many reasons.

“They get rest, get out of the heat, get hydrated,” Gasso said. “What we just played was the biggest game of our season and we knew that. Now, every game we play is the biggest game. Winning this game sets you up big time and that's important. That's why we knew the fight was important.”