March 30, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma has established a tradition for winning in the Big 12 Conference. The Sooners have won the Big 12 title seven times, including a league-best four regular season titles.
Entering this weekend, Oklahoma has accumulated 187 wins in Big 12 play, the best of any Big 12 team.
This week in Sooner softball history, we look back on the win that started the conference tradition – Oklahoma’s first Big 12 Conference win on March 30, 1996.
The University of Oklahoma had been a member of the Big Eight Conference until the creation of the Big 12 Conference in 1996. The newly formed Big 12 featured the same eight schools as the former conference, with the addition of Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
The Sooners opened up their first season of Big 12 play with a three game series against former Big Eight foe Iowa State in Norman. In the contest, Oklahoma struck first in the bottom of the second to go up 1-0.
The Cyclones scored two runs in the top of the fourth before being shut out for the remainder of the game. The Sooners took back their lead in the bottom half of the frame and never looked back, winning the opener 5-2.
Oklahoma pitcher Jill Most picked up the win along with striking out eight ISU batters in 3.2 innings of work. She would go on to win Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for the third time that season. Most went on to win the honor six times in 1996 along with the 1996 Big 12 Player of the Year honor.
Offensively, OU was led by the Melyssa Panzer, whose RBI double helped propel the Sooners ahead. Kim Young went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one walk drawn. Laura Purser also drove in two runs with one hit. Angela Holwell connected in her only official at-bat and drew two walks.
The Sooners would go on to take the series two games to one. Oklahoma would finish 17-5 in Big 12 play, winning their first Big 12 Championship during that season.
The Sooners and Cyclones continue their long series history this weekend as OU travels to Ames for a two-game series. First pitch on Friday is set for 3 p.m. CT with Saturday’s finale scheduled for 11 a.m. CT.
Ben Coldagelli is a student assistant in the OU Athletics Communications Office.