BOBBY ANDERSON,Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Keilani Ricketts threw a no-hitter and had 12 strikeouts in Oklahoma’s 7-1 victory over Michigan on Thursday night in the Women’s College World Series.
Ricketts, the Collegiate Softball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, improved to 32-1.
Oklahoma (53-4) will face Texas on Friday night. Texas beat Arizona State 6-3. Michigan (50-12) will play Arizona State on Saturday in an elimination game.
Michigan took a 1-0 lead in the third when Sierra Lawrence reached on an error and eventually scored on a play at the plate.
“Once Michigan scored that kind of woke us up a little,” Ricketts said. “We knew they would be scoring runs. They had been scoring runs all year long against everyone. We knew we had to respond.”
Top-ranked Oklahoma, the NCAA runner-up last season, scored four runs in the third, and Lauren Chamberlain hit her 28th home run of the season in the fourth.
“I thought we came ready to play,” Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said. “It was a long day of waiting. That’s one of the hardest things is just watching things on TV. I think we started off a little slow, but the sign of a good team is one that answers a score.”
Oklahoma (53-4) gave Ricketts the cushion she needed with the big third inning.
The no-hitter was the seventh of Ricketts’ career – sixth this season — and the 16th in WCWS history.
“I think you have to give credit where credit is due,” Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said. “Oklahoma is Oklahoma and they’re as good as advertised. Keilani no-hit us. That’s the first time we’ve been no-hit all year.”
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