March 3, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY — The University of Iowa softball team hung tough with No. 8/9 Oklahoma before dropping a 6-3 decision at The Preview college softball showcase Saturday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Hawkeyes plated the game’s first run in the top of the second inning. Senior Katie Keim singled to lead off the frame before coming around to score on an error on OU shortstop Javen Henson. Senior Liz Watkins’ hard grounder ricocheted off of Henson’s glove and caromed into foul territory in left field, allowing Keim to score from first base.
After the Sooners evened the game at one in the bottom of the inning, Iowa plated two runs in the top of the third. Junior Johnnie Dowling had a one-out bunt single before advancing to second base on a passed ball. Freshman Megan Blank then hit an RBI single through the right side to give Iowa the 2-1 lead.
Keim pushed the team’s second run across the plate when she laced an RBI double to right centerfield, extending Iowa’s advantage to 3-1.
The Sooners took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third. After Keilani Ricketts drew a one out walk, Brittany Williams hit a fly ball to left that hit off of Ashley Akers’ glove for an error, scoring Ricketts from first and allowing Williams to advance to third. Lauren Chamberlain followed with an RBI double to tie the game before Allee Allen’s RBI single to centerfield put OU on top 4-3.
Iowa threatened with a two-out rally in the fifth, as Blank doubled to right centerfield to move into scoring position. The Sooners, however, summoned Ricketts in relief, and she struck out Keim swinging to end the threat. The OU All-American then struck out 5-of-6 Hawkeyes she faced in the sixth and seventh innings to close out the win.
Oklahoma added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning off of a two-run home run by catcher Jessica Shults.
Sophomore Kayla Massey took the loss for Iowa, allowing six runs (three earned) on nine hits in the complete game. OU starter Michelle Gascoigne improved to 6-0, allowing three runs on five hits, while Ricketts tallied her first save of the season.
Blank and Keim accounted for four of Iowa’s five hits. Both players finished 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI.
Iowa (9-8) faces Oklahoma a second time Sunday morning in Norman. First pitch is set for 11 a.m.
|#8/9 Oklahoma 6, Iowa 3||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|#8/9 Oklahoma (13-3)||0||1||3||0||0||2||X||6||9||1|
|W: Michelle Gascoigne (OU) 6-0|
|L: Kayla Massey (IOWA) 4-5|
|S: Keilani Ricketts (OU) 1|