March 2, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma softball team has a prestigious tradition of not only being one of the nation’s best but winning against the nation’s best. The Sooners are 154-139 (.523) all-time against ranked opponents.
Prior to the 1998 season, OU went 31-30 against ranked opponents but the Sooners had never beaten No. 1. That all changed in the second game of a doubleheader against the University of Arizona on March 6, 1998 in Tucson.
The 1998 Sooners began the season with a strong 19-4 start before heading down to Tucson to take on the undefeated Wildcats.
After dropping the first game 6-4, the second game of the doubleheader began immediately, and so did Arizona’s offense. Fueled by the earlier victory, the Wildcats scored three quick runs in the first two innings.
Determined to win, the sixth-ranked Sooner offense came alive, scoring a run in the second and another in the fourth. OU’s defense stayed sharp, not allowing a single run by Arizona’s offense after the second inning.
Trailing 3-2 late in the game, the Sooners put together their second sixth-inning rally of the day. The two-run frame put Oklahoma in the lead, and eventually the victory. OU’s four runs were the most allowed at that point in the season. The 4-3 win was the Sooners first win against a No. 1 ranked opponent. The result was also the first loss Arizona suffered in 1998.
Ashli Barrett led OU, hitting 2-for-2 on the day. Lisa Carey and Nicole Myers each had a 2-for-3 performance in the win. Barrett and Myers each drove in two runs. Oklahoma pitcher Jennifer Jaime threw a complete game, allowing just two walks and two earned runs.
To this day, both Oklahoma and Arizona have become two of the most consistent softball programs in the country. The Sooners and Wildcats are the only two programs ranked every week of the NFCA poll since its start of circulation in 1995, now spanning 212 weeks.
Ben Coldagelli is a student assistant in the OU Athletics Communications Office.