A year after having to watch another team celebrate, the Oklahoma Sooners get their turn after winning the NCAA title.


OKLAHOMA CITY - Standing on the field and watching as another team was presented the NCAA softball championship trophy, Keilani Ricketts and her Oklahoma teammates vowed to set out on a mission seeking redemption.

One year later, as the trophy was being handed out again, the Sooners were joyously on the receiving end.

Ricketts homered and drove in four runs, Michelle Gascoigne pitched a three-hit shutout, and top-seeded Oklahoma won the NCAA softball championship by beating Tennessee 4-0 on Tuesday night in Game 2 of the Women's College World Series finals.

"After last year's national championship game, it definitely gave us one of the most painful feelings I'm sure all of us have ever felt," said Ricketts, who was chosen as the most outstanding player of the World Series. "And we just accepted the fact that God didn't want us to win it that year and it wasn't our time.

"That just gave us so much drive and determination to get back to this moment."

Ricketts, the two-time national Player of the Year, drove a 2-1 pitch from Ivy Renfroe (22-5) halfway up the right field bleachers for a three-run home run in the third inning and tacked on an RBI groundout in the seventh.

Ricketts got the night off in the circle after throwing a career-high 12 innings in Game 1 and moving to 35-1 on the season, but that just put the other half of her well-rounded game on display. She hit her 15th home run of the season and pushed her RBI total to 60.

No. 7 seed Tennessee (52-12) managed just three singles against Gascoigne (19-3), who struck out 12 and didn't walk anyone.

Ricketts, who was the designated player, was the first one charging out of the dugout when Gascoigne struck out pinch hitter Lexi Overstreet looking to wrap up the Sooners' second national championship.

"What a phenomenal game that Michelle threw," coach Patty Gasso said.