NORMAN -- The defending national champion Oklahoma softball team (50-8, 17-1 Big 12) has earned the No. 10 overall seed in the 2017 NCAA Division I Softball Championship and will host an NCAA Regional in Norman beginning Friday.
Winner of six straight Big 12 championships, Oklahoma has been a national seed for each of the past 11 seasons and will host a regional for the seventh year in a row.
The four-team, three-day event features Tulsa (39-15, 15-3 American) facing Arkansas (31-22, 7-18 SEC) at 11:30 a.m. Friday morning on SEC Network, before Oklahoma takes on North Dakota State (28-31, 11-7 Summit League) at 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon on ESPN3. Coincidentally, these four teams all met in Norman for the 2009 Regional, which was won by North Dakota State.
Friday's winners will square off in the first of three games Saturday, while Friday's losing teams will face off in an elimination game for game two of Saturday's tripleheader. The loser of Saturday's first game will take on the winner of the day's second game in an elimination game later Saturday night. The winner of Saturday's final game will take on the winner of the day's first game on Sunday with an if necessary rematch scheduled for later on Sunday. A full schedule for all three days is below.
Oklahoma, which swept the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles this year and has won 27 of its past 28 games, owns a 2-1 all-time record against North Dakota State, outscoring the Bison 16-3. OU won a doubleheader in Norman in 2006, while the Bison pulled the upset in the 2009 Regional.
The Sooners faced both Arkansas and Tulsa earlier this year, defeating each. On March 8, Paige Parker threw a 10-inning shutout as OU beat the Golden Hurricane, 1-0. Oklahoma is 40-10 all-time against the Tulsa, including six straight wins where OU has outscored Tulsa, 21-3. The Golden Hurricane were in the Norman Regional a year ago, but did not face the Sooners.
On April 5, OU posted a 4-2 win over the Razorbacks at Marita Hynes Field. The victory was their eighth straight against Arkansas. Overall, the Sooners are 22-2 in the all-time series with the Razorbacks. The .917 win percentage vs. Arkansas is OU's second base amongst teams it's played at least 20 times
The winner of this weekend's regional will advance to the NCAA Super Regional round against the winner of the Auburn Regional, the following weekend with an ultimate goal of reaching the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma has made the NCAA tournament in every year of head coach Patty Gasso's 23 seasons at the helm of the program and in 24 straight seasons overall. Last season, Oklahoma became the third program ever to win more than two national titles.
A limited number of all-session general admission tickets for the 2017 NCAA Softball Norman Regional go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. online and over the phone at (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-GoOU.
All-session general admission tickets are $25. Each day of the regional is considered one session and a session ticket is good for all games in one day. OU students will have to purchase an OU student ticket for this event as it is an NCAA sponsored tournament.
Single-session tickets, if availability remains, will go on sale the first day of the tournament at the Oklahoma Softball Complex box office. Single session tickets are $10.
Orders will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability.
|Game 1||Friday||Tulsa vs. Arkansas (SEC Network)||11:30 a.m.|
|Game 2||Friday||Oklahoma vs. North Dakota State (ESPN)||2:00 p.m.|
|Game 3||Saturday||Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 (TBA)||1:30 p.m.|
|Game 4||Saturday||Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (TBA)||4:00 p.m.|
|Game 5||Saturday||Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 (TBA)||6:30 p.m.|
|Game 6||Sunday||Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 (TBA)||1:30 p.m.|
|Game 7||Sunday||Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary) (TBA)||4:00 p.m.|