POSTED: 5:25 p.m. HST, Feb 24, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 5:51 p.m. HST, Feb 24, 2011
Hawaii pitcher Stephanie Ricketts earned some bragging rights over her sisters today by leading the Rainbow Wahine softball team to a 4-1 upset of No. 6 Oklahoma in the Cathedral City Classic in California.
Ricketts, struck out nine in a complete-game victory, UH freshman Sharla Kliebenstein homered and Alex Aguirre drove in two runs for the 10th-ranked Rainbow Wahine (12-1).
Ricketts' younger sister, Oklahoma sophomore Keilani, entered the game in the fourth inning and struck out five over 3 2/3 innings of relief. Older sister Samantha is a graduate assistant with the Sooners coaching staff.
By the time the anticipated pitching matchup between the Ricketts sisters materialized, the UH offense had given Stephanie a 3-0 lead off of OU starter Michelle Gascoigne and reliever Allee Allen.
Kliebenstein hit her sixth home run of the season in the top of the second inning. UH shortstop Jessica Iwata doubled in the third inning and scored on a single by Aguirre. Melissa Gonzalez followed with another single to center to bring Aguirre around from second.
Keilani Ricketts — who struck out 12 in a complete-game performance in a 1-0 loss to Georgia just prior to the Sooners' game against UH — entered the game with one out and two runners on in the top of the fourth inning. She struck out Kelly Majam and Jessica Iwata to end the threat.
The Sooners broke through with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth. With two out and a runner on first, Destinee Martinez reached on an error and Brittany Williams singled to drive in Brianna Turang. The Sooners loaded the bases and Ricketts struck out Haley Nix to preserve the UH lead.
The Wahine added a run in the top of the seventh. Majam singled with one out, went to second on a ground out and scored on Aguirre's second RBI single of the game.
Ricketts allowed her third walk with two out in the bottom of the seventh but got Jessica Shults, who began the day hitting .538 with nine home runs, to ground out to shortstop to end the game.
The Rainbow Wahine face No. 18/22 Nebraska and Syracuse on Friday. They conclude their road trip Saturday against Virginia.