National player of the year Keilani Ricketts homered and drove in four runs, Michelle Gascoigne pitched a three-hit shutout and top-seeded Oklahoma won the NCAA softball championship by beating Tennessee 4-0 Tuesday night in Game 2 of the Women's College World Series finals.
"I told them, if I had a million dollars, I would buy this for you, but I don't have a million dollars so I'm glad that we won it instead," Head Coach Patty Gasso says. "Seeing these seniors go out this way is something that I'll cherish forever."
Ricketts drove a 2-1 pitch from Ivy Renfroe (22-5) halfway up the right-field bleachers for a three-run home run in the third inning and tacked on an RBI groundout in the seventh.
"After last year's national championship game, it definitely gave us one of the most painful feelings I'm sure all of us have ever felt," Rickett says. "It wasn't our time. That just gave us so much drive and determination to get back to this moment."
Ricketts got the night off in the circle after throwing a career-high 12 innings in Game 1 and moving to 35-1 on the season, but that just put the other half of her well-rounded game on display. She hit her 15th home run of the season and pushed her RBI total to 60.
"Keilani threw 188 pitches last night, and that had a lot to do with it as well," Gasso says. "But Michelle has been such a huge part of getting our team to this point. To give her this opportunity was a big moment for her, and what I love is that Keilani was right there with it saying, ‘Yeah, go ahead. Let's do this and to share the moment together.’"
No. 7 seed Tennessee (52-12) managed just three singles against Gascoigne (19-3), who struck out 12 and didn't walk anyone.