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WCWS: Something amiss for Sooners in Game 2 loss

Jenni Carlson: OU loses a clunker to Alabama. Now the Sooners must regroup if they want to claim the national championship of softball.
by Jenni Carlson Published: June 5, 2012

Keilani Ricketts was uncharacteristically wild, Oklahoma defenders were abnormally shaky and Sooner bats were strangely cold.

Seemed like something was off in the cosmos.

Blame it on that whole Venus-in-transit thing. Maybe that's as good an explanation as any for the Sooners' sudden slump in this best-of-three national championship series. Only a day after dominating Alabama and looking like it was on the verge of its second softball national title, OU lost a clunker.

Alabama 8, OU 6.

A late five-run, seventh-inning rally made this one look way better than it was.

“We knew coming in that they were really going to bring their best,” Sooner coach Patty Gasso said of the Crimson Tide. “They really were attacking.

“At the same time, this was a very uncharacteristic game for us.”

The problems started early.

After Ricketts struck out the first two batters of the game and looked to be locked in, the Sooner ace hit a batter. Then gave up a single. Then walked a batter.

Just like that, Alabama had the bases loaded.

Ricketts and the Sooners worked out of the jam with a groundout, but it was a sign of things to come.

When the Crimson Tide next came to bat, the problems continued. The Sooners had an error on the leadoff hitter. Then after a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second, Ricketts hit a batter. Then after a strikeout, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third.

A high hopper forced Sooner shortstop Jessica Vest to throw to third to try to get the runner for the third out. Javen Henson bobbled it, allowing a run to score.

But worse, it kept the inning alive.

Alabama took advantage, loading the bases and getting a three-run double from Jackie Traina.

A similarly messy scenario played out two innings later. A hit batter. A passed ball. Another Alabama run.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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