Sooner Softball Finishes 2010 Season Ranked 9th Nationally


Big 12 champion Oklahoma Sooners ended up ranked ninth nationally in the final 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association college softball poll. That is the lowest final ranking for Sooner softball since 2010.

The Sooners failed to make it to the Women’s College World Series for the first time in five consecutive seasons after losing to Alabama in this season’s NCAA super-regional round.

Although OU fell short of its reaching its ultimate season goal of being one of the final eight teams competing for a national championship, that was about the only thing the Sooners’ didn’t accomplish in completing another outstanding season on the softball diamond.

The Lady Sooners hoisted their fourth consecutive Big 12 championship trophy in 2015, the seventh under head coach Patty Gasso, ending the season with a 14-2 mark in the league and 49-9 overall.

After the season-ending 5-3 defeat at the hands of Alabama in the super regional, Gasso had nothing but praise for her team:

“We gave everything we had,” the OU coach said in her postgame press briefing. “That’s all I can ask from this team – they gave all they had and more. I could not be more proud of their efforts.”

Oklahoma’s league championship this season was fairly predictable, given the Sooners’ domination in the three key statistical aspects of the game. OU led the league as a team in hitting, pitching and fielding.

In addition, the two best pitchers in the conference were Sooners. Freshman Paige Parker posted a Big 12-best record of 28-7 with an ERA of 1.65 in 217 innings. Those 28 wins in 2015 included an NCAA record-tying four perfect games. Senior Shelby Pendley contributed 12 wins against 1 loss and an ERA of 2.33, which ranked second in the league.

Offensively, the Sooners were led by the power bats of a pair of seniors: first baseman Lauren Chamberlain and shortstop/pitcher Pendley. The slugging duo led the conference in both home runs and runs scored and were second and third in RBI.

“We gave everything we had. That’s all I can ask from this team.” — OU head coach Patty Gasso

During the season, Chamberlain set a new all-time NCAA home-run record with 94 in her four seasons at OU. The slugging first baseman hit 23 this season, one fewer than teammate Pendley.

The ninth-place finish in the poll rankings is the 12th worst in the 21-year Gasso era, which dates back two seasons before the Big 12 was formed. Twice (in 2000 and 2013), the Sooner softball squad finished No. 1 under Gasso.

The best measure of a school’s standing as an elite national program in any sport is long-term consistency and sustained success on the field of play. And Oklahoma softball has easily proved over the past couple of decades that it belongs among the nation’s best.

The Sooners are the only program in the country that has been ranked in the top 25 every week of every season since the National Fastpitch Coaches Association weekly poll was established in 1995.

Oklahoma softball may not have had one of its best seasons in 2015, but it still ranks among the 10 best in all of the land. That’s certainly nothing to hang your head over.