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Sunday College Softball Roundup: Ricketts and Creger Throw No-Hitters

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Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla.—Senior pitcher Keilani Ricketts set a pair of school records as she no-hit Iowa State (19-29, 4-11) on Sunday in a 12-0, five-inning win for the No. 1 Oklahoma softball team (43-3, 11-1).

For Ricketts, it was her fifth career no-hitter and fourth of the season, breaking ties in each category with former Sooners pitcher Lauren Eckermann. Ricketts struck out 10 and walked two with one hit batter as she improved to 24-1 on the year.

Ricketts set the Cyclones down in order in the first and, after walking the leadoff batter, struck out the side in the second. She picked up two more strikeouts in the second before getting some help from freshman left fielder Erin Miller in the fourth.

With one out and one on, Lexi Slater lifted a fly to shallow left field. Miller raced in and made a nice, sliding basket catch to keep the no-hitter intact. Ricketts closed out the fourth by fielding a comebacker and then ended the game in the fifth with another comebacker and a pair of swinging strikeouts.

In seven innings of work this weekend, Ricketts did not allow a hit and she struck out 14 batters.

The no-hitter capped off a dominant weekend for Oklahoma as it swept Iowa State by a combined score of 44-1. All three games ended in the fifth inning, marking the first time in program history that OU won three games in a row within Big 12 play via run rule.

Like they had done all weekend, the Sooners struck early. Sophomore Lauren Chamberlain led off the game with a double to left center and came home two pitches later when fellow sophomore Georgia Casey singled to right field. After a steal of second, Casey made it 2-0 when sophomore Shelby Pendley doubled to the corner in left field.

A single from Ricketts moved Pendley to third. Ricketts then stole third, while two batters later, junior Destinee Martinez sent a chopper back up the middle to put the Sooners on top 4-0. Sophomore Callie Parsons moved Martinez to third with a single through the right side, while Turang's infield single brought Martinez the final 60 feet and made the score 5-0.

Chamberlain came up for the second time in the inning and launched her second double of the game to clear the bases and give the Sooners a 7-0 lead after one inning of play.

The Sooners padded their lead with a four-run second inning. In the series, OU scored 39 of its 44 runs within the first two innings.

Pendley got things started with a single up the middle, setting the stage for Ricketts to launch a two-run home run to right field. Later in the inning, Chamberlain walked with the bases loaded to make it 10-0, while Casey singled to center field to bring the score to 11-0.

Oklahoma got its final run in the fourth when sophomore Jessica Vest singled to right field to drive home fellow sophomore Erica Sampson, who had walked and taken second on a fielder's choice.

The Sooners take part in their final conference road trip of the season when they visit Kansas next weekend. The series starts with a doubleheader on Friday at 2 p.m. and closes out with a noon contest on Saturday.

Tulsa

EL PASO, Texas – Aimee Creger pitched a no-hitter and became Tulsa's all-time wins leader as the 25th-ranked Tulsa softball team completed the Conference USA weekend sweep with an 8-0 (5 inn.) victory at UTEP Sunday afternoon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

Creger (21-5) struck out five batters and allowed just two baserunners on a pair of walks for her first no-no of the season.

The Golden Hurricane scored in each of the first four innings on seven hits and eight walks, and combined solid defense with Creger's pitching to improve to 37-13-1 overall and 16-5 in C-USA play. UTEP starter Cynthia Villastrigo (0-3) allowed four runs in 1.2 innings to absorb the loss for the Miners (12-33, 1-19 C-USA).

Jill Barrett went 2-for-2 with two RBI and scored a run to complete an 8-for-10 weekend at the plate. Caitlin Everett and Shelby Blanton each added two RBI, while Samantha Cobb and Lacey Middlebrooks drove in one run each, and Haley Henshaw scored twice for the Hurricane.

Tulsa got on the board with a run in the first, three in the second and two runs in each of the third and fourth innings. Jill Barrett reached on a one-out single through the left side in the first inning and scored on Cobb's double to left center.

Middlebrooks drew a one-out walk in the second inning, followed by a two-out walk by Cassidy Bowen. Everett then doubled home Middlebrooks and Barrett singled up the middle to score Bowen and Everett, making the score 4-0.

Henshaw led off the third with a double to right center, Catherine Horner singled to the pitcher, and Middlebrooks reached on an error at second base, allowing Henshaw to score. Horner moved around to cross the plate on Everett's sacrifice fly to left field, to increase the lead to 6-0.

The Golden Hurricane added two more unearned runs in the fourth inning to take an 8-0 advantage. Julie Kernen led off with a walk and Henshaw reached on an error at second base. Blanton then ripped a two-out double through the left side, scoring both Kernen and Henshaw.

UTEP earned a walk in the second and fourth innings, but Creger combined the five strikeouts with six groundouts, three flyouts and a line out to keep the Miners off the bases and without any base hits.

Creger picked up her third win of the week, after earning an 11-1 victory over UTEP Saturday and an 8-2 win at Oklahoma State on Wednesday.

The Golden Hurricane, which went 5-2 on the two-week road swing, including five straight wins, returns home Wednesday to play host to Missouri State at 2 p.m. at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

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