Sooner Softball: Five Learnings From OU’s Regional Romp


If it appears that the OU Sooner softball squad is not going to lose another game this season, it’s because the Sooners haven’t experienced defeat in nearly two months.

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Besides that, most of the games over that 50-day stretch haven’t even been close. Since a 5-2 loss to Kansas on April 2, Oklahoma has won 25 consecutive games and 32 of the last 33. That is the longest active streak in the nation and the second best in Sooner softball history.

The Lady Sooners, 50-7 and seeded No. 3 overall in this year’s NCAA Softball Championship, made relatively easy work as host of their own regional over the weekend, allowing just three runs total in three games while scoring a combined 19 of their own.

OU’s 3-0 shutout over Ole Miss in the Norman Regional final on Sunday sends the Sooners to their seventh consecutive Super Regional, the second-best active streak in the nation to Alabama’s 12 consecutive Super Regionals. What’s even better, Oklahoma will host No. 14-seed Louisiana-Lafayette on Thursday-Friday this week in one of the eight NCAA Softball Super Regionals being held around the country.

The Sooners’ Super Regional opponent, the Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette, come to Norman with a 15-11 record all-time against Oklahoma, but they are 0-3 in Norman and 1-3 against the Sooners in postseason play. The last time these two teams met was in 2014 in the Women’s College World Series. OU won that game 3-1. The Sooners also defeated the Ragin Cajuns in the 2005 WCWS, winning by a score of 6-3.

Five key observations as the Sooners move two wins closer to their 10th appearance in the Women’s College World Series and their fourth in the past five seasons:

  • The Sooners are striking early in winning their last 25 games and putting away opponents in the first two innings. Oklahoma has outscored its opponents 127-15 in the opening two frames in going 25-0 since April 3.
  • Oklahoma sophomore starting pitcher Paige Parker is one of the best in the name. She has won 21 consecutive games and is 31-3 for the season. Her 3-0 shutout over Ole Miss to win the regional championship for a seventh straight season was her 13th of the season. Louisiana Lafayette has an outstanding starter of its own, though, in Alex Stewart, who sports a 1.50 ERA in 187 innings of work this season. Parker’s ERA is 1.43 over 195.1 innings.
  • The key matchup in the OU-Louisiana-Lafayette Super Regional series will be the Sooner offense, which leads the nation in hitting with a team batting average of .359 going up against the Ragin Cajuns’ outstanding pitching. Louisiana-Lafayette ranks fifth in the nation this season with a staff ERA of 1.81. That compares with a 2.13 ERA for the Oklahoma pitching staff, 13th best in NCAA Division I this season.
  • Playing at home is a huge advantage in a Super Regional series . The Sooners are 22-2 this season when playing a Marita Hynes Field. They have won their last 13 games at home and have allowed no more than three runs in 12 of the 13. Over that same 13-game time frame, Oklahoma has averaged close to 6.5 runs.
  • Oklahoma has emphatically shown this season that it can win games with offense as well as outstanding pitching, but the Sooners also can beat you with excellent defense. OU ranks second in the nation with a fielding percentage of .984 and has committed just 23 errors in 57 games this season.