Oklahoma Softball: Sooners One Win Away From Moving on to Super Regionals


History is on the side of Oklahoma softball as the Sooners close in on their 15th regional championship.

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The Sooners have a much longer history with Wichita State and Tulsa, but both of those teams are gone, eliminated by Oklahoma and Ole Miss, the two teams that will square off on Sunday afternoon for the chance to move forward to the Super Regional round of the 2016 NCAA Softball Championship.

Before Saturday afternoon, OU and Ole Miss had met just three times previously all-time, with the Sooners having won all three. Make that four now, with the Sooners dominating the Rebels for a 9-1 victory on Saturday. That sent Ole Miss into an elimination game with Wichita State on Saturday night.

The Rebels defeated the Shockers 4-0 to earn the Sunday rematch with the No. 3-seeded Sooners, who only need one win, and on their home field, to take home the regional title.

Ole Miss must take two games from OU, now with a 49-7 season record,  to steal the championship from the Sooners. That would appear to be a nearly impossible task given that the Lady Sooners are in the midst of a consecutive win streak that has reached 24 games and have been beaten just once in their last 32 outings.

In addition to its ongoing win streak, the longest active streak in the nation, Oklahoma has won 15 consecutive NCAA regional games and 20 of its last 21. In the 15 straight wins in regional competition, the Sooners have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 174-41.

Championship Sunday could be over quickly if the Rebels are able to keep the Sooners off the scoreboard in the early going. In the two regional wins over Wichita State and Ole Miss, Oklahoma scored at least five times in the first two innings, and its seven-run second-inning outburst on Saturday against the Rebels broke that game wide open before six outs had been recorded by OU hitters.

Sooner sophomore pitching ace Paige Parker, two-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, upped her season record to 30-3, including wins in her last 20 appearances in the circle.

With one more win, Oklahoma will reach the 50-win level for the 10th time in Patty Gasso’s 22 seasons as the Sooners’ head coach. She also has three 49-win seasons during her OU tenure.

With their 50th win of 2016, the Sooners will also secure a spot as one of the eight Super Regional sites next weekend, where they will host the winner of the regional championship between 14th-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette and former Big 12 team Texas A&M.

Oklahoma is one of three Big 12 schools (Oklahoma State and Baylor are the other two) still alive in the NCAA Softball Championship and playing for regional titles on Sunday.