SB: Top-ranked Sooners blank UA - Tucson News Now

SB: Top-ranked Sooners blank UA

FULLERTON, Calif. – Fourteenth-ranked Arizona softball (20-8) managed just three hits against Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts and were kept off the scoreboard in a 4-0 Sooner victory.

Nancy Bowling pitched five innings and struck out a career-high 10 in the contest. The Arizona pitcher allowed three runs on four hits while striking out 10 of the 24 batters she faced to the eighth-most prolific offense in the country (7.43 runs per game). Bowling didn't receive any run support, however, and was issued the loss to drop to 4-3 on the year.

At one point, Bowling struck out six consecutive batters, fanning the second-through-sixth batters in the fourth and fifth innings.

Estela Piñon hurled two innings for the Cats, the second and third frames, and allowed a run on three hits.

Arizona put three of its first four runners on base in the first inning before Keilani Ricketts retired the next 19 Wildcats. Ricketts allowed three hits and struck out seven while improving to 13-0 on the year.

Oklahoma wasted no time in drawing first blood. Lauren Chamberlain hit a leadoff homer in the top of the first inning to give the Sooners a 1-0 lead. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Paris Townsend with two out. Bowling hit Townsend to drive in a run to make it 2-0 after a half an inning.

Arizona tried to respond in the bottom half by loading the bases with one out. Ricketts retired the next two batters to get out of the inning, and then the next 19 batters through the seventh inning.

The Sooners added to their lead in the second inning. A single, walk and groundout put runners at second and third with one out. Shelby Pendley hit a sacrifice fly to give OU a 3-0 lead.

Chamberlain registered her second leadoff homer of the game when she took Bowling deep to begin the fourth inning.

The Sooners would get just three base runners the rest of the way against Bowling.

Up Next: Arizona returns home to begin Pac-12 play next week. The Wildcats will take on Washington at Hillenbrand Stadium next weekend March 23-25 in a three-game series.

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