NCAA WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
May 30-June 5, 2013
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Game 4: Oklahoma 7, Michigan 1
- No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Oklahoma beat NCAA Tournament No. 8 seed Michigan 7-1 in Game 4 of the Women’s College World Series. OU improved to 53-4 on the year while UM fell to 50-12.
- The Sooners are now 2-0 against the Wolverines in the WCWS and trail 12-7 in the overall series. Making its eighth WCWS appearance, Oklahoma is now 12-12 all-time in the event. Michigan fell to 8-19 in its 10th WCWS.
- Oklahoma senior pitcher Keilani Ricketts (32-1) threw the 16th no-hitter in WCWS history and the first since 2007, when two were recorded on the same day. The no-hitter was Ricketts’ sixth of the season and seventh of her career. Ricketts surrendered an unearned run and two walks. She struck out 12 batters for her 14th 10-plus strikeout game this season and the 77th of her career.
- OU improved to 51-0 this season when scoring at least three runs in a game.
- The Sooners have now outscored their opponents 451-67 on the year. In six NCAA postseason games this year, they have accumulated a 66-9 run advantage.
- Michigan scored the game’s first run as junior Lyndsay Doyle garnered an RBI in the third inning on a fielder’s choice, scoring freshman Sierra Lawrence.
- In the third inning, Oklahoma plated four runs. Sophomore Georgia Casey sent a single to left field to score senior Brianna Turang from third base and tie the game at 1-1. Junior Brittany Williams added another run as drove in sophomore Lauren Chamberlain with a single. Senior Jessica Shults then added a two-run single, increasing OU’s lead to 4-1.
- Chamberlain blasted a two-run home run in the fourth inning, giving the Sooners a 6-1 lead. It was her 58th career home run and 28th this season. The RBI tied Chamberlain with Samantha Ricketts for the Big 12 and school single-season record of 81, a mark Ricketts set in 2007. Chamberlain ranks second at OU in career home runs, trailing Shults by just three.
- Sophomore Callie Parsons added an RBI-single in the fifth inning, putting OU up 7-1.
- Michigan sophomore pitcher Sara Driesenga (30-8) gave up nine hits and seven runs in six innings of work. She also struck out five batters and walked three.
- The game marked the second time Michigan has been no-hit in the WCWS, the last coming in 1998.
- Oklahoma will face Texas Friday at 8:30 p.m., while Michigan will play Arizona State in an elimination game Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
- Tonight’s attendance of 8,860 set a Session 2 record. Total attendance for today’s first two sessions was 16,771, a Day 1 record (the previous record of 16,384 was set last year).
OKLAHOMA COACH PATTY GASSO
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Oklahoma head coach, Patty Gasso and Sooner athletes Lauren Chamberlain, Keilani Ricketts and Jessica Shults. We’ll start with a comment from Coach and open it to the floor for questions.
COACH GASSO: I thought that we came ready to play. It was a long day of waiting; and that, I think is one of the hardest things just watching things on TV and waiting and waiting and waiting.
I think we started off a little slow, but the sign of a good team is one that answers a score, and when Michigan came up to score 1, we answered 4. So I thought the team and Keilani obviously threw a tremendous game, and Lauren doing what she does. It was great to see Shults step up and get some big RBIs for us. I thought the defense played well and a little shaky in one, maybe two innings, but after that we settled in and did our thing and did it pretty well.
Q. Can you talk about a lot of teams come here and have a little shaky inning, another team scores and it rattles the team. But you continued to pitch well. Your bats came alive, your fielding went back to being good. Just talk about how you’re able to throw that bad inning behind you?
KEILANI RICKETTS: Well, once Michigan scored that kind of woke us up a little, because we knew they were going to be scoring runs. They were scoring runs all year against everybody, and we knew we had to respond back to that. And my defense was amazing behind me.
Jess (Shults) was phenomenal behind the plate, and our defense was making plays in the gap and getting balls that would have been hit. I was just able to feed off them tonight.
Q. Patty, you’ve seen Keilani throw so many games, but when she starts off the game throwing over 70 and then a changeup in the 50s, I’m sure you’re saying to yourself it’s going to be a pretty good night.
COACH GASSO: I think that’s up to Keilani, really. She loves to compete, as these other two do up here. This is the stage that they’ve dreamed about their entire life. So any athlete that’s here needs to be ready to play, and Keilani was locked in and ready to play.
There was no doubt that she was in control pretty early throughout the game. One thing, we went out and they had runners I think at first and second and we talked a little bit about it. She answered, boom‑boom, two big outs to get us out of the inning. So she responded well, and just had a fantastic game.
Q. Lauren, I had a question for you. Your first at‑bat, you go up and you strike out and immediately I notice you go to your teammates on deck and are talking it over what you saw with them. Can you talk about your night of diagnosing their pitcher and having better at‑bats as the night went along for you?
LAUREN CHAMBERLAIN: I wasn’t very happy with the way my first at‑bat went, but passing along my knowledge, again, it’s the first at‑bat of the game, and I was telling them the spins I saw, the speed I saw.
Second at‑bat I was looking to make an adjustment, be more aggressive with my swings and I was a little early on the drop ball, so stayed a little deeper and it worked out.
MICHIGAN COACH CAROL HUTCHINS
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Michigan head coach, Carol Hutchins and student‑athlete Sara Driesenga. We’ll start with a comment from Coach and go to the floor with questions.
COACH HUTCHINS: Well, I think you have to give credit where credit is due. Oklahoma was all Oklahoma. They’re as good as advertised, and Keilani no‑hit us. First time we’ve been no‑hit all year. I give them a lot of credit. They are a fantastic ball club, well‑coached, they play great softball. We were going to have to have a heck of an effort to beat them.
I think it’s really tough for college kids their first time on this big stage. Actually, I thought Sara pitched a great game. She had a couple of tough innings and we didn’t help her out. And Amy Knapp plays a fantastic third base for us. The leadoff error there in the third, certainly it’s a different ball game if we make that routine play she’s very capable of, and she made all game.
You can’t give a great team, you can’t give them anything. And we gave them a little too much. But I can tell you what, my kids believe in themselves, and we will regroup. We’ll put this in the past and we’ll move forward and look forward to playing on Saturday.
Q. Sara, so what kind of changed in the third inning? Did they see better in the third inning, or were you doing something different with your pitches? Why were they able to get runs off you then?
SARA DRIESENGA: I definitely think, just like Coach said, if we make a play here, make a there, things change. Then when they don’t we just have to stay tough and get right at them. I think I tightened up a little bit, trying too hard. But after that, we settled down and came right back at them.
Q. Coach, all things considered, were you pleased with how your team came out early in the first few innings, getting the run across and putting Oklahoma in a tight spot before things just started to go the wrong way for you in the third?
COACH HUTCHINS: Well, I thought the first two innings were key holding them. As tough as we knew it was going to be to score runs, the biggest problem with Oklahoma is you have to try to contain them until you can get runs. And the game plan was to put the ball in play, and SiLo (Sierra Lawrence) put the ball in play and made some things happen. I was pleased with that to get on the board. But holding them down is very difficult. Every at‑bat, every pitch, it’s a very intense ballgame.
Q. Coach, what was Keilani doing well with her pitches? What was she able to do to throw you guys off her game? Was it something that ‑‑ her drop ball seemed to work well, but were there other things too?
COACH HUTCHINS: Well, she came right at us. She used that famous crop duster, and when she brought that changeup out of her pocket, she was deadly. She was deadly and she was in command, she was in complete command of her game. That’s key to the game.
Q. Wanted to ask what kind of instances are you guys going to look back on and say, hey, we’ve responded from situations? Tell me a little about those key moment this season?
COACH HUTCHINS: Well, I think you look just as recent as last week, losing game 2 of the Super Regional, we had 30 minutes to adjust, and our kids put it in the past and moved forward. You do that every day at practice because every day at practice my goal is to knock them down so they have to learn how to get back up. This group believes in each other; they love each other. I totally believe that they’ll respond.
SARA DRIESENGA: Yeah, I definitely would have to agree with last weekend and even all throughout the season even when we’re down in games we’ve never given up. We always fight until the end, until the last stop. We always come right at them. We’re fearless. We play like we have nothing to lose, and we have fun while we’re doing it.
Q. Over the years that I’ve known you, you will be thinking about the next game when you walk out this door. What is your experience with your next opponent?
COACH HUTCHINS: We have seen them the last couple years out of Fullerton. A year ago they beat us on a walk‑off. I think it was a 1‑0 game. This year I believe we beat them. I think it was a 1‑0 game. No, it was a 5‑4 game. I can tell you that at this level, what’s happened in the past doesn’t matter. What my team needs to take confidence in is they have beaten a number of great teams this season, and we need to have confidence in that.
But we have two teams with their backs against the wall and they’re fighting to stay alive and they get to keep playing together. So I expect a game.
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