Oklahoma and Oklahoma State each punched a ticket to the 2011 Women's College World Series after capturing the championship at their respective Super Regionals. The WCWS appearance is the sixth overall for OU and first since 2004, while it is OSU's seventh in program history and first since 1998.
The Oklahoma softball team got another brilliant performance from Keilani Ricketts and the top of the order drove in all five runs as the ninth-seeded Sooners (43-17) downed eighth-seeded Arizona, 5-2, for a second straight day.
Ricketts also got it done with the bat, driving in OU's first two runs via a home run. She also drew a walk later in the game. In the circle, she threw her second complete game in as many days, holding Arizona to two earned runs on seven hits. Ricketts struck out seven to move her season total to 443.
OU's Chana'e Jones ended the game a perfect 2-for-2 with a run scored. Jones led the team with a .800 batting average in the series (4-for-5). Hughes registered a 2-for-3 day with one run scored. In two games at designated player, Hughes hit .500.
Ricketts produced a 1.333 slugging percentage in her six at-bats, hitting .333 for the weekend. She had a 1.00 earned run average, allowing two earned runs on 15 hits and four walks. She struck out 20.
Oklahoma State held off Houston en route to a 6-5 victory in the decisive game of its NCAA Super Regional series on Saturday in front of 544 fans inside Cowgirl Stadium.
The Cowgirls (42-18) began the deciding contest with a three-run first inning but Houston (44-18) responded in the bottom of the first with two runs of its own. The Cougars jumped in front in the third inning when Jennifer Klinkert hit a two-run homer over the left field fence to make the score 4-3.
In the fifth inning, the Cowgirls regained the lead with a rally as Tamara Brown provided what would prove to be the winning run with a double into left center field to put OSU in front by a 6-4 count. Houston made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh against sophomore Kat Espinosa. Pinch-hitter Bailie Lott led of the inning with a solo home run to left field. However, the Cowgirl infield recorded two outs and Espinosa struck out the final batter to clinch the win.
In the first game on Saturday, Houston broke a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning and set OSU down in order in the top of the seventh for the 1-0 win to force the if-necessary game.
Since the first season of Big 12 softball in 1996, a league team has advanced 18 times to the WCWS. The league has sent at least one team to the WCWS every year since 2000, with three teams advancing in 1998 and two each in 2002, '03, '07 and '11.
The 2011 NCAA Division I Softball Championship will take place June 2-8 from ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
Baylor is competing in the Athens, Ga. Super Regional and leads Georgia 1-0. Missouri is hosting Washington in the Columbia Super Regional and has a 1-0 advantage over the Huskies. Both schools can clinch a WCWS berth with victories on Sunday.