No. 4 Sooners Claim 2012 Big 12 Softball Title
Courtesy: Big12Sports.com
          Release: 05/12/2012
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With a 12-1 run-rule victory over Iowa State Saturday afternoon, the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners have claimed their fifth regular-season Big 12 softball title.

It is Oklahoma's ninth overall Big 12 crown, which includes four postseason titles (1996, 2001, ‘07, ‘10), all of which have occurred under head coach Patty Gasso. She is the league's winningest coach with 1,021 victories in her career, 861 recorded at OU. During her tenure at Oklahoma, Gasso has led the Sooners to 19 consecutive 40-win seasons and six Women's College World Series appearances, including the championship title in 2000.

The nine total crowns are the most in league history as Texas trails with eight overall titles.

OU moved to 44-8 on the year and 18-5 in conference play. The squad's 18 victories are the most by a league team in conference history.

During the Sooners' title-winning contest, freshman Lauren Chamberlain broke the Big 12 single-season record for home runs as she tallied two of OU's three shots of the day, bringing her total to 25 (previous record was 24). It marked the 13th game this season that the Sooners have hit at least three home runs in a contest, as they increased their home run total to 84, just one shy of the program's single-season record set by the 2000 National Championship squad. The mark is the third-most ever by a Big 12 team.

All season, Oklahoma has been paced in the circle by Keilani Ricketts, who leads the Conference in ERA (1.10), opposing batting average (.153) and strikeouts (335), while she shares the top spot in wins (27) through all games. She is tied for eighth in the nation in shutouts with eight and is third nationally in strikeouts. The San Jose, Calif.-native also is a top contender from the batter's box as she ranks second in the league in batting average (.408) and slugging percentage (.848) and first in on-base percentage (.566).

The regular season wraps up Sunday, May 13. The league's teams will learn their postseason fate on Sunday, May 13, in the NCAA Division I Softball Selection Show at 9 p.m. CT on ESPNU. Regional competition will take place at campus sites May 18-20.

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