OKLAHOMA CITY » Keilani Ricketts struck out 11 and Lauren Chamberlain hit a two-run home run to lead Oklahoma past South Florida 5-1 on Thursday in the opening round of the Women’s College World Series.
Ricketts is the sister of Stephanie Ricketts, who just completed her career for the Rainbow Wahine.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Keilani Ricketts struck out 10 or more for the 23rd time this season for the Sooners (51-8).
South Florida (50-13), playing in the WCWS for the first time, took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI double by Kourtney Salvarola.
Oklahoma answered with Chamberlain’s homer in the bottom half of the inning. Ricketts’ triple highlighted Oklahoma’s three-run sixth.
Oklahoma will take on Cal tonight after the top-seeded Golden Bears rallied past LSU 5-3. LSU will play USF in an elimination game on Saturday.
Frani Echavarria got her third RBI of the game during a three-run sixth inning for California, keying the Golden Bears’ rally.
LSU (39-24) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Allison Falcon and Ashley Applegate each singled before both scored on Morgan Russell’s double to right.
Cal (57-5) cut the deficit in half in the third. Britt Vonk reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a walk to Valerie Arioto. With two outs, Echavarria singled to right field to score Vonk.
Echavarria then tied it 2-2 with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
In the sixth, Jamia Reid drove in the go-ahead run, Vonk had an RBI single and stole a base, and Echavarria added a run-scoring groundout.
In the other two games of the day, No. 2 seed Alabama beat Tennessee 5-3 and third-seeded Arizona State, the defending champion, beat Oregon 3-1.