Oklahoma Softball: Was There Ever Any Real Doubt?


The runaway Oklahoma softball train is headed up the road to its 10th Women’s College World Series appearance and fifth in the last six seasons.

A rain-delayed 7-6 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Friday night sealed the deal, but the Sooners had to withstand a three-run rally by the 14th-seeded Ragin’ Cajuns in the bottom of the seventh inning to close out the series and punch their ticket to the WCWS.

OU did what it does best – jump out in front early – scoring three runs in the Sooner half of the second inning to take an early 3-0 lead. The Ragin’ Cajuns fought back with two runs of their own in the third and another in the fourth to tie the game at three.

A solo home run by freshman catcher Sydney Romero put Oklahoma back on top in the fifth, and the Sooners added two more runs in the sixth to go up 6-3, but it was a triple to right-center by Lea Wodach in the top of the seventh that scored Nicole Pendley that proved to be the difference maker in the game.

Almost lost in all of the euphoria and revelry that followed OU’s Super Regional triumph was that it also marked the date of head coach Patty Gasso’s birth (she’s 54 years young for those of you with curious minds).

“I used to having my birthday in the late spring until I came to OU, when I realized it all matches up for postseason play,” the Sooner head coach said after the series-ending win over Louisiana-Lafayette. When it ends like this, though, I can assure you she doesn’t mind sharing her birthday with her team.

The victory was the 27th consecutive win by the Lady Sooners, who have not lost since April 2, and they way they have been playing and dominating most of their opponents during the 27-game win streak, they are expected to be one of the favorites heading to the WCWS.

Everything appears to be going Oklahoma’s way of late, and with No. 1 overall seed Florida falling to Georgia in the Gators’ Super Regional, the Sooners will be the second highest-ranked team (behind No. 2 Michigan, and that assumes the Lady Wolverines are able to get by Missouri in their Super Regional pairing) competing in this year’s eight-team WCWS field.

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When you consider how far Gasso’s squad has come this season since opening the 2016 campaign losing four of its first 12 games, it makes the current moment even more special. One of those four early defeats, interestingly, came against Michigan, which is expected to be in the same side of the bracket when the Women’s College World Series gets underway this coming Thursday.

Since opening the season with two consecutive losses and losing twice more in the first dozen games. Oklahoma has gone an incredible 44-3, which will provide the Sooners with an enormous tailwind as they head up the interstate to ASA Hall of Fame Stadium later in the week.

“I’m proud of this group,” Gasso said. “I not only see us going to the Women’s College World Series, but I see a future that is so bright because this group figured out how to get there at such a young age. We’re excited and just need to breathe for awhile.”

They will have four more days to catch their breath before it all starts up again.

Keep the line moving, ladies!