Oklahoma softball: Sooners host Oklahoma State with Big 12 crown on line

Nathan J Fish/The Oklahoman / USA TODAY

Big 12-leading Oklahoma softball takes on Bedlam rival Oklahoma State this weekend in what will be their final regular-season meeting as members of the Big 12 and longtime conference foes.

Adding to the weekend drama is the three-way battle between three teams for the Big 12 regular-season title. Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State are all within two games of each other with the Sooners holding down the top spot entering the final weekend of the regular season.

Oklahoma leads the Big 12 with a 21-3 conference record (45-4 overall). But Texas (20-4, 42-6) and Oklahoma State 19-5, 42-8) loom dangerously close behind.

The Sooners' magic number is three (any combination of OU wins or Texas losses this weekend at Texas Tech totaling three will award the conference crown to Oklahoma), but securing a three-game sweep of the Cowgirls is far from a sure thing. And to further complicate things, there are multiple scenarios in which any one of the three teams could walk away with the big prize.

Recently, in an interview with The Oklahoman, head coach Patty Gasso was asked about her time in the Big 12 and the memories she and the Sooners will take with them as they get ready to move to the SEC. "All the talk is SEC, SEC, and we're excited about it and going to prepare and be as ready as we can get for it," she said.

But the Sooner head coach knows their is still a job to do in the Big 12, and that is her total focus this weekend as OU continues toward its season-long goal of becoming the only softball team to win four consecutive national championships.

"I love the idea that our last weekend is at home. It's going to be huge. It's a real big chance for the Sooners to step up and say, 'We own this stadium...and we're deciding our own destiny here."

OU head coach Patty Gasso

The all-time series between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State totals 175 games. The Sooners lead the series 103-72 and owns a 45-21 record in Norman. The last time OU lost a game at home to OSU was 1997.

What fans need to know this weekend's Bedlam softball series

  • All three games will be nationally televised. Friday's game, at 6:30 p.m. CT, is on FS1. The start time for the game on Saturday is 12 noon on ESPN, and the series finale on Sunday will be at 3 p.m. on ESPN2.
  • Oklahoma leads the Big 12 and all of NCAA Division I softball with a .372 team batting average. The Sooners also lead the conference in on-base percentage (.480, No. 1 nationally), slugging percentage (.673, No. 2 nationally), home runs (95, No. 3 nationally) and fielding percentage (.982, second nationally, with 23 errors) and is second in staff ERA (1.66).
  • Sooner pitching ace Kelly Maxwell spent four seasons at Oklahoma State before transferring to Oklahoma for the 2024 season. Maxwell is 18-1 this season with a 1.66 ERA in 101.0 innings. Maxwell's former teammate at OSU, Lexi Kilfoyl, leads the Big 12 in wins (19-3) and is second in ERA (1.16).
  • Oklahoma senior shortstop Tiare Jennings hit two home runs last weekend against UCF, giving her 91 for her career and making her only the seventh player in NCAA softball history to do so. Her former OU teammate, Jocelyn Alo, is the career leader in home runs with 122. Former Sooner Lauren Chamberlain is No, 3 with 95.
  • Oklahoma ranks No. 8 nationally, has won eight consecutive games and has wins over seven ranked teams this season.
  • Under Patty Gasso, now in her 30th season at Oklahoma, the Sooners are 74-14 against its in-state rival.