Oklahoma softball returns home and to Big 12 play vs. BYU


Earlier this season, Oklahoma softball and Texas were Nos. 1 and 2 in the country in that order. This week, they switched places, and the Sooners fell out of the top spot in seemingly forever.

Texas ended several Oklahoma softball streaks after winning two out of three games from the Sooners last weekend, The Sooners had not lost back-to-back games since the 2020 season and before last weekend had won 40 consecutive games against Big 12 opponents spanning over three seasons.

Oklahoma returns to Love's Field this weekend, beginning a three-game series with Big 12 newcomer BYU on Thursday and ready to begin a new set of streaks.

Although some in the media believe the Longhorns' success over the Sooners' revealed some chinks in OU's armor that could be exploited by other opponents and prevent Oklahoma from achieving an unprecedented third consecutive nation championship.

"We needed this. We needed to feel this," said head coach Patty Gasso after OU lost the series at Texas. "Are we broken? Are we shaken? Absolutely not. What we need to do is go back to Norman and reset."

OU ended a seven-game road trip with a 7-0 shutout over Wichita State on Tuesday and begins a six-game Big 12 homestand with BYU coming in followed by Houston next weekend.

The Sooners are 9-1 all-time against BYU, including an eight-game win streak.

Oklahoma may have dropped out of the top-spot nationally, but the Sooners remain atop the Big 12 standings with a 13-2 record, a game up over Oklahoma State and two games ahead of Texas.

BYU enters the series with the Sooners with a 21-17 record overall and 4-11 in the conference. The Cougars are hitting .331 as a team and average nearly seven runs a game. The BYU lineup is top-loaded with the first-five hitters all hitting .330 or better. The leadoff hitter, Ailana Agbayani, leads the Big 12 with 49 runs scored. The No. 3 and 4 hitters in the lineup, Violet Zavodnik and Huntyr Ava, bat .411 and .421, respectively.

Oklahoma leads the Big 12 with a team batting average of .380 and six Sooners hitting better than .400. The Sooners also lead the conference in pitching (1.42 ERA) and fielding percentage (.987 with just 13 errors in 39 games.

In the series with Texas last weekend, Oklahoma produced just seven runs total over the three games, the fewest runs the Sooners have scored in a series since the Big 12 went to three-game series in 2012. OU had just five extra-base hits against Longhorn pitching, including two home runs, both season lows in a series.