|No. 18/13 OU (6-4) at Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic|
|vs. Boise State||Thursday, Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m. CT|
|vs. Oregon State||Thursday, Feb. 20, 10:00 p.m. CT|
|vs. Northwestern||Friday, Feb. 21, 5:30 p.m. CT|
|vs. #8/9 UCLA||Friday, Feb. 21, 8:00 p.m. CT|
|vs. Syracuse||Saturday, Feb. 22, 11:30 a.m. CT|
|Location||Palm Springs, Calif. | Big League Dreams Park (Wrigley)|
|Live Stats||Links Available Before First Pitch|
|Game Info||Tournament Central | Game Notes | Twitter|
The No. 18/13 Oklahoma softball team is in action this Thursday-Saturday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
The Sooners will play five games over the three days, starting with matchups against Boise State and Oregon State Thursday.
Oklahoma then faces a Northwestern team on Friday that is receiving votes in the NFCA Poll before taking on No. 8/9 UCLA in the marquee matchup of the weekend on Friday evening. The weekend closes out against Syracuse on Saturday.
The Sooners have a 213-173 (.552) all-time record against ranked opponents. Against top-10 teams, OU is 76-91 (.455) all-time but specifically against the No. 8 team it is 9-11 (450). This season, OU is 0-3 against ranked teams.
FACING THE FIELD
Oklahoma has faced each of its opponents within the last four years, including games against Oregon State and Northwestern a year ago.
OU met both OSU and Northwestern in the season-opening Kajikawa Classic in 2013. Junior Lauren Chamberlain hit a pair of homers and drove in six runs, and the Sooners used an 11-run fourth inning to beat the Beavers, 14-2, in five innings.
Two days later, fellow junior Georgia Casey also slugged a pair of home runs to help OU top the Wildcats, 7-4. Casey finished 2-2 with five RBI, two runs scored and two walks drawn.
When Oklahoma faces UCLA on Friday, it marks a meeting between two of the top programs in NCAA history (NCAA all-time rank in parentheses):
|WCWS Titles||2 (T-3rd)||11 (1st)|
|WCWS Appearances||8 (T-8th)||25 (1st)|
|WCWS Wins||16 (T-8th)||94 (1st)|
|WCWS Win Pct.||.571 (5th)||.764 (1st)|
|Postseason Appearances||20 (T-14th)||30 (T-1st)|
|Postseason Wins||79 (7th)||187 (1st)|
|Postseason Win Pct.||.675 (6th)||.803 (1st)|
A quick look at which Sooners have been enjoying recent success:
FACING THE CREAM OF THE CROP
Oklahoma holds a 6-4 record on the year, though three of those losses have come to ranked teams. In fact, the average ranking in the NFCA Poll of those three ranked teams at the time of the game was 6.7, which is the third-most difficult in the nation among teams that have faced three ranked opponents.
|Team||Avg. Opp. Rank||Vs. Top-25||Record|
|Sam Houston State||8.7||0-3||1-5|
SOONERS GO 3-2 FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEKEND
After going 3-2 in the season-opening Easton Tournament, the Sooners also went 3-2 at the Littlewood Classic in Arizona.
OU jumped out to an 8-0 lead and held off Illinois State, 11-6, in the opening game. Junior Georgia Casey hit a two-run homer, while junior Shelby Pendley and senior Brittany Williams each hit three-run home runs.
The team’s four-game win streak came to an end with a 7-0 loss at No. 5/5 Arizona State, but OU bounced back with a 7-2 win over SIU-Edwardsville. In the win, Oklahoma drew 13 walks and stole eight bases, finishing one off the school record.
A 3-1 loss to No. 3/3 Washington dropped the Sooners to 2-2 on the weekend, but OU rallied for a 7-6 win over Michigan State in the finale to finish with a winning record.
Oklahoma led the Spartans 5-0 after six innings, but MSU rallied for six runs. The lead didn’t last long, though, as Pendley delivered a walk-off two-run double, her school record tying third of the game, in the bottom of the seventh for the win.
SOONERS OPEN SEASON 3-2 AT EASTON TOURNAMENT
Oklahoma opened the 2014 season last weekend at the Easton Tournament in Fullerton, Calif., posting a 3-2 record.
OU dropped its season opener to No. 12/14 Kentucky, 5-4, in 10 innings. The Sooners had a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, but allowed a pair of solo home runs and the Wildcats were able to win in the 10th.
In addition to seeing its 13-game win streak end, OU’s season-opening win streak ended at four games, its eight-game win streak against ranked opponents was stopped and its three-game winning streak in extra innings came to a close.
Oklahoma then dropped to 0-2 with a loss to host-Cal State Fullerton, but bounced back with a pair of run-rule wins.
In defeating Santa Clara 10-1 in five innings, Georgia Casey was 3-3 with four RBI and also got the win in the circle. OU then topped Loyola Marymount 11-1 in five innings behind a seven-run fourth inning.
In the weekend finale, Leslie Miller’s two-run homer was the lone OU hit of the game but it was enough to beat Pittsburgh, 2-1. Kelsey Stevens struck out a season-high 10 batters with no walks to keep the Panthers in check.
SOONERS TURN TRIPLE PLAY
The final score of 11-1 in five innings illustrates how strong the OU offense was against LMU (2/8), but it was the defense that came through with the highlight of the day on a triple play.
OU led 4-1 in the top of the fourth, but LMU had runners on first and second. A sharp grounder by Taryn Renowden was hit to junior Shelby Pendley at third base. She stepped on third for the force, threw to senior Javen Henson at second base for the second out and Henson threw on to junior Lauren Chamberlain at first base to complete the 5-4-3 triple play.
CHAMBERLAIN TIES BIG 12, OU CAREER HOME RUN MARK
Junior Lauren Chamberlain made history in the season opener versus Kentucky (2/7) with a solo home run in the third inning.
It was the 61st of her career, tying former Sooner and current OU GA Jessica Shults for the most in Big 12 and Oklahoma history. Chamberlain, who hit 30 homers as both a freshman and sophomore, is now tied for 28th all-time in NCAA DI history.