Sooner Softball Closing in on Another OU NCAA Championship Final


It has been a great year for Oklahoma collegiate sports, and on Sunday evening the Sooner softball team could be the  sixth OU team in 2015-16 to advance to the NCAA championship finals in their sport.

ncaa-logo /

The Lady Sooners need just one more win to advance to the best-of-three championship round in the 2016 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

After knocking off No. 6 Alabama and No. 2 Michigan on successive nights this weekend, No. 3 seed Oklahoma (54-7) will square off Sunday night against the winner of an elimination game earlier in the day between No. 16 Georgia and No. 10 LSU.

A victory on Sunday night would give the Sooners a school-record 30 consecutive wins, but more importantly, it will punch their ticket to the WCWS championship series.

Entering the fourth day of play on Sunday, Oklahoma and No. 4 Auburn, one of five SEC teams in this year’s eight-team SEC field, are the only undefeated teams, each with two wins. At this point, it would appear those two schools are heading toward a championship showdown beginning on Monday.

The Sooners’ hard-fought and dramatic 7-5 win over Big Ten champion Michigan (52-6) on Saturday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium was huge for OU in that it gives the Sooners a 24-hour rest before they have take the diamond again. On the other hand, the loss means the Lady Wolverines, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, must play again at mid-day on Sunday and win in order to remain alive in the championship, something Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso is thankful her team was able to avoid.

“We knew it was going to come down to the very finish…For Paige (Parker) to hold on the way she did (in the final inning), for our defense to play a fantastic game and for our offense to find a way to score late was the difference.” –OU head coach Patty Gasso

Trailing 7-3 in its last at bat on Saturday, Michigan pushed across two runs after two were out and had the bases loaded, with the tying run at second base and the winning run at first, when two-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Paige Parker got the Wolverine’s No. 9 hitter to hit a chopper back to the pitching circle, which Parker fielded and tossed to first baseman Shay Knighton for the final out.

“You knew it was going to come down to the very finish,” Gasso said in her postgame interview. There was not a lead that was going to be big enough against them with the mission that they were on.

“For Paige (Parker) to hold on the way she did, for our defense to play a fantastic game and for our offense to find a way to score late was the difference,” the Sooner head coach continued.”

The Sooners’ 29th consecutive win ties the school record set in 2005. It also was OU’s 36th victory in the last 37 games. Michigan also came into to the WCWS with an impressive string of victories, having won 24 of its previous 27 games.

OU starting pitcher Parker, upped her season record to 35-3 and has won in her last 25 appearances in the pitching circle.