Sooner Softball Express Steamrolling Toward Third National Title


It has reached the point that a Sooner softball loss at this point and time in the season would be poetic injustice after what this Oklahoma team has accomplished.

This incredible Sooners’ squad has played 30 consecutive games without suffering a loss, and it gets even more impressive when you consider that since March 29, OU has compiled a record of 37-1, easily the best in the country over that time span. What’s more, we’re talking about a team in which two-thirds of the roster is made up of freshman and sophomores.

Oklahoma snapped a two-game losing streak to LSU on Sunday night, taking advantage of a porous Tiger defense and putting constant pressure on three LSU pitchers, all leading to a 7-3 victory and the No. 3-seeded Sooners’ third trip to the Women’s College World Series championship series in the past five seasons.

Sophomore pitcher Paige Parker, who has thrown every pitch in Oklahoma’s eight postseason wins this season, recorded her 36th win of the season. She has been a major factor in the Sooners’ lengthy win streak, the longest active streak in the nation. The two-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Year has not lost in her last 26 appearances in the circle.

The Sooner softball express has reached its final stop in the 2016 season and a date with the Auburn Tigers (57-10), the No. 4 seed in this year’s NCAA Softball Championship. Neither team has lost in this year’s WCWS, each posting three wins to become the only teams still standing among the eight teams that advanced to Oklahoma City with a shot at the national championship.

The best two-of-three championship series gets underway Monday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, and the way OU has been playing since its last loss on April 2, it would appear that nothing and no one is going to stand in the Sooners’ way of closing out the season on a winning note.

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Here are some of the reasons why this youthful band of Sooner sisters will not be denied the school’s third national championship in softball, all coming under head coach Patty Gasso:

  • While most of the teams that advance this far in the NCAA Championship have two or three star players who are the big run producers and serve as the toughest outs in a starting lineup, there is no easy out up and down the Sooner lineup. Every spot in the order can hurt you, and that has been the case in OU’s three WCWS wins thus far.
  • The Sooners have never trailed in this College World Series. They jump on opponents early and don’t let up. Oklahoma has outscored its opponents this season 147-16 in the first two innings.
  • Oklahoma is 7-0 this season against teams from the Southeastern Conference, including WCWS wins over No. 6 Alabama and No. 10 LSU.
  • This is Oklahoma’s 10th trip to the Women’s College World Series, and the Sooners have been in the championship series three times previously. Two of those three times, Oklahoma came away with the national championship. This is only Auburn’s second appearance all-time in the WCWS, and the first time the Tigers have advanced to the championship. They lost to eventual national champion Florida in the semifinal round last season.
  • The Sooners have pitcher Paige Parker, and Auburn doesn’t. The sensational sophomore hurler is a perfect 8-0 in the postseason and has 36 wins overall this season. She is tied for second in the postseason with 52 strikeouts.
  • As a team, Oklahoma is hitting almost 100 points higher in the 2016 postseason than Auburn. Auburn’s .235 team batting average going against OU’s Parker and her 1.55 earned run average for the season is not a good matchup for the SEC champions.
  • It is not just their offensive firepower and shutdown pitching that has fueled the Sooners’ success this season, they play outstanding defense, as well, which makes OU an especially tough out for any team. They can beat you in many ways, and that has been clearly evidenced over the last 30 games.
  • Finally, playing in Oklahoma City, just a half-hour away from the OU campus, is a huge home-field advantage for a team that doesn’t need any more advantages.