April 20, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - The No. 10 Missouri softball team dropped a heartbreaking game to the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners on Friday night, dropping a 2-1 decision in extra innings in the series opener. The loss drops Mizzou to 33-9 overall and 10-6 in the Big 12, while the first place Sooners are now 37-6 and 12-4 in the league.
No. 5 Oklahoma 2, No. 10 Mizzou 1 (10)
|W - Ricketts (22-5)||10.0||6||1||1||1||12|
|L - Thomas (17-6)||9.2||8||2||2||6||15|
|MU - Fleming||4||1||2||1||0||1||0|
|MU - Randazzo||4||0||2||0||0||0||0|
The Sooners put runners aboard in each of the first two innings, as Destinee Martinez singled in the first and Ricketts walked to lead off the second. However, Martinez was thrown out trying to steal and the walk to Ricketts would not hurt the Tigers.
Missouri struck out three times in order in the first inning, but got their first hit of the game with a two out double by Angela Randazzo in the second. The Tigers put two aboard in the fourth on singles by Ashley Fleming and Kelsea Roth, but they couldn't break the scoreless tie.
Oklahoma finally broke the scoreless tie in the fifth inning, scoring a run to take a 1-0 lead. With one out, Brianna Turang took a walk after falling behind in the count 0-2, and Katie Norris hit a grounder in the hole between short and third, legging it out for an infield single. After a wild pitch put the runners in scoring position, Javen Henson hit a grounder to Corrin Genovese at short, who threw Turang out at the plate for the second out. However, with runners on the corners, Destinee Martinez hit a slow chopper to first, beating the throw on a bang-bang play and bringing in the run.
Mizzou was able to get that run back in the top of the sixth on a solo home run by Fleming. With two outs in the inning and a 3-2 count, Fleming drove one deep over the wall to the opposite field for her 10th home run of the season, evening the game at 1-1.
In the seventh, Missouri was able to put two aboard with two outs, but the Sooners worked out of the jam to keep the game tied. Mackenzie Sykes singled up the middle and stole second base to get into scoring position. Lindsey Muller then walked, but Ricketts got pinch hitter Kelsi Jones to strike out and end the inning.
Oklahoma had a chance to end it in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with two away, but Thomas worked out of it to send the game to extras. With one out, Turang hit a slow roller to third for an infield single, and Katie Norris hit a high chopper to short, allowing Turang to beat the throw while Norris reached on a fielder's choice to put two aboard. Thomas got Henson to ground out to third, which moved the runners into scoring position, but she lost Destinee Martinez on a full count walk to load the bases for Lauren Chamberlain, who entered the weekend with 19 homers on the year. However, Thomas made quick work of the freshman, striking her out on three pitches.
Neither team got anything going in extras until the Sooners mounted a two out rally in the 10th to end the game. Thomas struck out Chamberlain to start the inning and got Shults to pop out for two quick outs. She fell behind Ricketts 2-0 and issued an intentional walk. Erica Sampson moved Ricketts into scoring position with a base hit, and Georgia Casey ended it with another single up the middle, scoring Ricketts from second.
The loss dropped Thomas to 17-6 on the season despite a brilliant performance. She went 9.2 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits while striking out a season-best 15 batters. Fleming and Angela Randazzo led the offense with two hits each, while Fleming's homer was the lone run of the night for the Tigers.
These two teams return to action tomorrow at 2 p.m. CT. For updates, stay tuned to mutigers.com and @MizzouSoftball on Twitter. Mizzou Network subscribers can watch the game at mizzounetwork.com.
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