Mizzou softball loses opener at Oklahoma

By Kelsie Heneghan

No. 10 Missouri softball traveled to Norman, Okla., to play the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners. Not only was this game key to NCAA rankings, but also was the start of a crucial series between the Tigers and Sooners, who are fourth and first respectively in the Big 12 conference.

The game was quiet for four and a half innings, with just a total of four hits and one walk – quiet until the Sooners came to bat in the bottom of the fifth. A walk, single, and wild pitch later, the Sooners had runners on second and third with one out. A fielder’s choice got a runner out at home, but Oklahoma was able to get a run on the board with a single on the next play.

The Tigers would not let the Sooners keep the lead for long. Ashley Fleming hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth to tie the game at one. The home run was Fleming’s 11th of the season.

With the score tied, the game would go into extra innings and would remain scoreless until the 10th inning. Mizzou pitcher Chelsea Thomas as able to get two quick outs, but decided to intentionally walk Keilani Ricketts, the Sooners’ cleanup hitter and ace pitcher.

Erica Sampson then singled to put runners at first and second. Still down to their final out, the Sooners brought Georgia Casey to bat. Casey singled up the middle, scoring Ricketts to give Oklahoma the series-opener win.

Thomas pitched 9.2 solid innings allowing two runs on eight hits and six walks, while striking out 15. Thomas is now 17-6 on the season.

The Tigers hope to even the score Saturday with a 2 p.m. start against their conference foe.

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