Homers put Sooners past Huskers
Shults goes yard twice as No. 12 Oklahoma downs Nebraska
NORMAN, Okla. –- Jessica Shults hit two solo home runs as the 12th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners defeated 14th-ranked Nebraska 6-3 on Sunday afternoon at the OU Softball Complex. Keilani Ricketts rebounded from Saturday’s series-opening loss to throw a complete game and move to 15-5 on the year.
The Sooners (27-9, 1-1 Big 12) got on the board with a solo home run from Brittany Williams in the second inning. The blast was her ninth of the season. Nebraska (27-4, 1-1 Big 12) answered back to tie the game in the top of the third when Ashley Guile scored on a Nikki Haget double.
Shults added her first home run to lead off the fourth and a second in the sixth. The home runs moved her single season total to 18, two shy of the Oklahoma single season record.
Shults’ second home run jump started a four-run sixth inning. Following the one-out blast, Williams reached on a single through the right side and Ricketts was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base. Dani Dobbs then brought pinch runners Cierra Hughes and Kaci Quintero around on a three-run shot to left field. It was Dobbs’ sixth home run of the year, setting a new single season high for the senior.
Nebraska threatened in the seventh. Guile was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved to second on a groundout. Designated player Madison Drake reached on an error and a walk to Haget loaded the bases for the Cornhuskers. Taylor Edwards then singled through the left side to score pinch runner Morgan McCann. A single from Heidi Foland plated Drake before Ricketts struck out Julie Brechtel to end the game.
Ricketts ended the game with 15 strikeouts, moving her single season total to 228 which ranks seventh on the OU single season records list in the category. Her 574 career strikeouts rank fifth on the all-time list and are 23 shy of fourth-place on that list.
Ricketts allowed three runs, two of them earned, on five hits and two walks. Shults’ two home runs highlighted her 2-for-3 day at the plate. Williams went 2-for-2 with the solo home run and one walk. Dobbs’ only hit of the day was the three-run home run.
Brianna Turang, Katie Norris and Chana’e Jones all added hits for Oklahoma.
Nebraska starter Tatum Edwards pitched 3.0 innings, allowing one earned run on two hits. Reliever Ashley Hagemann (19-3) picked up the loss, throwing the final 3.0 innings. Hagemann allowed five earned runs on six hits and one walk.
Foland went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Haget, Taylor Edwards and Guile had the other Nebraska hits.