Shelby Pendley, the Big 12 player of the year, threw wide of first base for an error.
Then the OU third baseman threw behind Michigan runner Sierra Lawrence, a poor decision that cost the Sooners another out.
Finally, catcher Jessica Shults dropped a toss from pitcher Keilani Ricketts, and Lawrence slid in safely at the plate.
Three batted balls in the third inning, which combined didn't travel 100 feet, had given the Wolverines a run on Ricketts.
Games on this stage have been lost on less.
But this is not your mother's Women's College World Series. One run rarely beats you these days. Not against big boppers like these Sooners.
OU's fielding settled down, OU's bats awoke and Ricketts remained her usual dominating self as the Sooners routed the Wolverines 7-1 Thursday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
The shaky Sooner defense was not indicative of its 2013 performance. But it's not so strange for the nerves and the tension of the World Series to turn sure-handed defenders jittery.
Ricketts didn't let it bother her. She no-hit the Wolverines and struck out 12.
“Once Michigan scored, that kind of woke us up a little,” Ricketts said. “We just knew we had to respond to that.”
Not since 2007 had the World Series hosted a no-hitter — told you the game has changed — but such was Ricketts' dominance that Michigan didn't even get the ball out of the infield.
“She had all her stuff tonight,” said Shults. “She was throwing the ball hard, then mixing speeds. She answered every time. She came back and got big outs for us. Just made us want to come in and get runs for her. She had her A game tonight.”
Michigan committed its own error from third base — Amy Knapp's wide throw — to jump-start a rally, and the Sooners scored four runs in the third inning.
Four singles and a walk followed the error, and so hot were the OU bats, Michigan got out of the inning only with back-to-back excellent defensive spearings, first by Ashley Lane at second base, then by shortstop Sierra Romero.
Then in the fourth, Lauren Chamberlain launched a rocket that had designs on Guthrie — OK, it was a 240-foot two-run homer over the center-field fence — and the rout was on. The pro-OU crowd of 8,860 went wild.
“Shout-out to our fans,” Chamberlain said. “They make this game really fun. Just to hear them respond is really cool. It's awesome to be back.”
And thus the Sooners (53-4) displayed why they are big favorites to win the NCAA championship that eluded them last June.
“This is a stage that they've dreamed about their entire life,” said OU coach Patty Gasso. “They just need to be ready to play.”
Great pitching. Great hitting. Settle down on defense, and OU could stake claim as one of softball's greatest teams.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.