Oklahoma softball: It all comes down to this weekend in Sooners' bid for 12th straight title


The Oklahoma softball program closes out the regular season this weekend in the Sooners' final season as a member of the Big 12.

Entering this weekend, the Big 12 championship is up for grabs with OU, Texas and Oklahoma State all in the mix. The good news if you are a Sooner fan is that it's Oklahoma's title to lose, The Sooners host in-state rival Oklahoma State for three games at Love's Field beginning Friday evening.

Depending on the outcome of the Bedlam series with the Cowgirls, as well as the Texas series on the road against Texas Tech, any combination of Oklahoma wins or Texas or Texas losses this weekend totaling three will give the Sooners a 12th consecutive Big 12 crown and 16th in the 28-year history of the Big 12 Conference,

Oklahoma is 21-3 and one game ahead of 20-4 Texas and two games up on Oklahoma State entering the final weekend of the regular season. Because the Longhorns won the series against OU this season and own the tiebreaker over the Sooners, if the two teams are tied at the top of the standings after this weekend, Texas would be crowned as champion. So the margin of error for Patty Gasso's squad is razor thin to ward off the No. 1-ranked Longhorns.

Another intriguing story line associated with the weekend series with Oklahoma State is a potential matchup between Oklahoma pitching ace Kelly Maxwell and her former Oklahoma State teammate Lexi Kilfoyl, who leads the Big 12 in wins with 19 and is second in ERA (1.16) and strikeouts (109).

Oklahoma owns a 103-72 all-time record against its in-state rival and is 45-21 in games played in Norman. The Sooners have won 33 of the last 35 meetings between the two teams and have not lost in Norman to the Cowgirls since 1997.

The Sooners would like nothing more than to take all of the drama out of the weekend action by sweeping Oklahoma State and winning the Big 12 regular-season title in their final season. And denying it to the No. 1 team in the country would be equally sweet.