Oklahoma softball: No. 1 Sooners set for Red River/Big 12 showdown with No. 5 Longhorns


Oklahoma softball will put its No. 1 national ranking on the line this weekend in a three-game road series in a Red River showdown against Texas.

The Lady Longhorns (29-5, 9-3) are No. 5 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings and for multiple weeks this season ranked No. 2 nationally, right behind the rival Sooners.

Oklahoma (34-1, 12-0) owns a 57-25 advantage in the all-time series and is 7-0 in the last seven games between the two teams. The Sooners are 20-11 in games played in Austin, which is the site of the games this weekend.

After losing its Big 12 opener to Houston, Texas reeled off eight straight conference victories before struggling to score runs at Oklahoma State last weekend. The Longhorns score just two runs total in losing two of three against the Cowgirls. OSU's Lexi Kilfoyl pitched a pair of shutouts against the potent Texas lineup, one of the best hitting teams in the country.

Oklahoma had its NCAA record 71-game winning streak snapped in a 7-5 loss to Louisiana on March 3. Since then, the Sooners have won 16 consecutive games.

Friday and Saturday's games at Red and Charlene McCombs Field in Austin will be nationally televised. Friday night's game will be broadcast on ESPNU beginning at 5:30 CT. Saturday's game will be at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

Five more things to know about No. 1 Oklahoma visiting No. 5 Texas

  • Oklahoma enters the weekend series with a three-game lead over both Texas and Oklahoma State in the Big 12 standings and with a 39-game winning streak against Big 12 opponents.
  • The last time Oklahoma and Texas played in Austin, the Longhorns ended a 40-game Sooner winning streak with a 4-2 victory.
  • Oklahoma and Texas rank No. 1 and 2, respectively, in NCAA Division I softball in hitting. The Sooners, with seven players hitting above .400, have a team batting average of .394. Texas is hitting .377 as a team. Three Sooners rank in the top-five nationally in batting average: 1) Jayda Coleman (.466), 2/ Rylie Boone (.455) and 5) Tiare Jennings (.446). Joley Mitchell of Texas is No. 4 (.450).
  • The Sooners lead the nation in batting average, on-base percentage (.495) and fielding percentage (.985) and rank second nationally in runs (9.31), slugging percentage .733), runs, home runs (78) and shutouts (16).
  • Although the Sooners and Longhorns are the two best hitting teams in the country, this series could come down to pitching, and the two teams are among the best in Division I softball in the circle as well. Oklahoma's team ERA (1.40) ranks No. 3 nationally; Texas is No. 4 (1.41). Seven of the top-10 ERA's in the Big 12 belong to pitchers from OU (4) and Texas (3).