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WCWS notebook: OU's lineup praised by South Florida coach Ken Eriksen

by Michael Baldwin Published: May 31, 2012
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 Apparently, South Florida coach Ken Eriksen is a fan of comparing OU to the New York Yankees.

 

One day after equating Keilani Ricketts' pitching and hitting skills to Babe Ruth, the South Florida coach compared the heart of the OU batting order of Lauren Chamberlain, Ricketts and Jessica Shults to the Yankees' lineup when that club dominated Major League Baseball in the 1990s.

 

“Who do you pitch around?” Eriksen said. “I mean, do you walk Chamberlain to get to Ricketts? Do you walk Ricketts to get to Shults? What do you do? The margin of error becomes smaller at this level against a great hitting team like that.”  

 

RUSSELL RETURNS HOME

 

LSU senior catcher Morgan Russell, who is from Edmond Santa Fe, estimated at least 50 friends and family members attended Thursday's WCWS opener against California.

 

“It's really neat to come back here,” Russell said. “My high school career ended here at this stadium and I'll end my college career here. I got millions of texts leading up to this.”

 

LSU lost its opener 5-3, but Russell drove in two runs with a two-run single in the second that gave the Tigers an early 2-0 lead.

 

“That was a cool feeling,” Russell said. “To do that in front of my friends and family is something I'll always remember. I thank God for giving me this opportunity.”

 

SOUTH FLORIDA'S PITCHING A UNIQUE CHALLENGE

 

Something unique about  Eriksen's coaching style is the way he frequently switches pitchers.

 

Starter Sara Nevins tossed 4 2/3 innings, while Lindsey Richardson was occasionally inserted throughout the game to finish with 1 1/3 innings. Sam Greiner also faced two batters in the sixth before Richardson was reinserted into the game.

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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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