| No. 2 OU (0-0) at Kajikawa Classic
| vs. #21 Stanford
|| Friday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m. CST (Farrington)
| vs. Oregon St.
|| Friday, Feb. 8, 3:30 p.m. CST (NW Field, TSC)
| vs. #5 Oregon
|| Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. CST (Farrington)
| vs. New Mexico
|| Saturday, Feb. 9, 12:30 p.m. CST (Farrington)
| vs. Northwestern
|| Sunday, Feb. 10, 12 p.m. CST (SE Field, TSC)
|| Phoenix, Ariz. | TSC | Farrington
| Live Stats
|| STAN | OSU | ORE | UNM | NU
| Game Info
|| Game Notes | Twitter
Ranked No. 2 in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll, the University of Oklahoma softball team opens up the 2013 season this weekend at the Kajikawa in Phoenix, Ariz. The Sooners will play five games in three days beginning with a matchup against No. 21/20 (NFCA/USA Softball) Stanford on Friday at 10 a.m. CT.
The Sooners will then take on Oregon State at 3:30 p.m. CT. On Saturday OU faces No. 5/6 Oregon and New Mexico in back-to-back games at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., respectively, before closing out the event on Sunday at 12 p.m. vs.
Oklahoma is coming off its seventh trip to the Women's College World Series and returns 13 letterwinners from the squad that compiled a 54-10 record in 2012 including USA Softball Player of the Year Keilani Ricketts and fellow first-team All-Americans Lauren Chamberlain and Jessica Shults.
In addition, the Sooners boast an incoming freshman class with seven players, all of whom hail from the state of Oklahoma, and sophomore Shelby Pendley, a transfer who was a first-team All-Pac 12 honoree last season at Arizona.
A LOOK AT OKLAHOMA AS A TEAM
Oklahoma is 30-12 all-time in season openers, including a 15-3 mark under Head Coach Patty Gasso.
OU has a combined record of 43-16 against the five teams it is facing in this weekend's tournament.
The Sooners are ranked No. 2 in both the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll and ESPN/USA Softball Preseason Poll. The ranking is the best ever in the USA Softball Poll and ties for the highest in the NFCA Poll.
For the fourth time in five years, Oklahoma has been chosen by the league's head coaches as the frontrunner for the Big 12 softball title. The Sooners received all six first-place votes to top the Preseason Big 12 Poll.
TRIO RECEIVES PRESEASON HONORS
A year after being named first-team All-Americans, Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts, Jessica Shults and Lauren Chamberlain have all received preseason recognition heading into the 2013 campaign.
All three were named to the Top 50 "Watch List" for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year by the Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball.
In addition, all three have been tabbed as 2013 Preseason First-Team All-Americans by ESPNW.com.
SOONERS ADD TRANSFER PENDLEY
Shelby Pendley, an infielder who spent her freshman season at the University of Arizona, has transferred to the Oklahoma softball program. She is cleared to play this season and will have three years of eligibility remaining.
An All-Pac-12 First Team honoree, Pendley started all 57 games at
shortstop and led the Wildcats in slugging percentage (.703) and home runs (19). She also finished second on the squad with a .331 batting average, 55 runs batted in, 121 total bases and 39 runs scored.
Her home run total put her 13th nationally and two off the Arizona freshman record. She joins an Oklahoma lineup that ranked second in the country with 1.59 home runs per game and set school and conference records with 102 homers on the year.
The Rio Rancho, N.M., native also ranked 30th in the nation with 55 RBI, hit seven doubles and reached base at a .413 clip.
With the addition of Shelby Pendley, the potent Sooners' lineup becomes even more powerful.
As was noted by ESPN's Graham Hays, the combination of Lauren Chamberlain (30 home runs in 2012), Jessica Shults (20), Keilani Ricketts (17), Georgia Casey (10) and Pendley (19 at Arizona) combined to hit 96 home runs a year ago.
That figure for those five alone was higher than 281 of the other 282 teams in Division I College Softball a year ago.
GASSO INDUCTED INTO NFCA HALL OF FAME
Oklahoma softball coach Patty Gasso added another honor to an already impressive career in November when she was one of three members inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame at the 2012 NFCA Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Gasso joined North Carolina's Donna Papa and former Palomar head coach Mark Eldridge as members of the 2012 class.
SOONERS SMASH HOME RUN RECORDS
Led by a Big 12-record 30 home runs by freshman Lauren Chamberlain, the Sooners set school and conference records with 102 home runs on the season. The previous best in OU history was 85 set in 2000, while the conference mark was held by the 2010 Texas squad that hit 88 homers.
The mark goes down as the 13th-highest total in NCAA Division I history and just the 17th time a team reached the century mark. The all-time record is held by Hawaii, which hit 158 in 2010.
OU STAFF LEADS NATION IN ERA
The Oklahoma pitching staff led the nation in earned run average in 2012, recording a mark of 1.22.
Three pitchers stepped into the circle for OU and none had an ERA higher than 1.57. Keilani Ricketts posted a 1.08 ERA in 292.0 innings, Michelle Gascoigne added a mark of 1.57 in 107.1 innings and Kirsten Allen recorded a 1.35 ERA in 20.2 innings of work.
LEADING THE WAY
In addition to leading the nation in ERA, the Sooners also stood atop many statistical categories within the Big 12.
As a team, OU set conference records for slugging percentage (.546) and home runs (102) and led the way in runs scored (407), hits (530), RBI (360), opposing batting average (.167), innings pitched (420.0), strikeouts (621) and wins (54).
Individually, Keilani Ricketts led the confernece in six different categories including on-base percentage (.548), earned run average (1.08), innings pitched (292.0), opposing batting average (.157), strikeouts (457) and wins (37).
Lauren Chamberlain led in five categories. In addition to a conference record 30 home runs, she also posted the highest marks in slugging percentage (.878), runs scored (68), runs batted in (78) and total bases (172).
Destinee Martinez also led the Big 12 with 75 hits on the season.
GASSO WINS NO. 1000
With a 9-1 victory over Virginia on March 16, Patty Gasso recorded the 1,000th win of her illustrious career.
Following the season, Coach Gasso's record stands at 1,032-338-3 overall and 871-279-2 at Oklahoma.
OU RANKED IN EVERY POLL
The Sooners have been ranked in the NFCA poll since its inception, which spans 257 weeks. Oklahoma and Arizona are the only programs who have been ranked every week the poll has been released.
CHAMBERLAIN GOES DEEP
Freshman Lauren Chamberlain exploded onto the scene in 2012, earning first-team All-America honors and setting school and conference records for home runs.
She blasted 30 home runs on the season, easily passing the OU record of 20 set by Lynette Velazquez in 1999 and matched by Lisa Carey in 2000. Chamberlain also bested Meagan May's Big 12 record of 24 homers hit in 2010. The figure ranks fifth all-time in the NCAA record books, and the mark still belongs to Arizona's Laura Espinoza who hit 37 blasts in 1995.
RICKETTS' PERFECT GAME VS. KANSAS
Keilani Ricketts joined the exclusive club and threw the first perfect game, and no-hitter, of her career on March 30 against Kansas. Ricketts struck out 10 batters and didn't allow a baserunner in a five-inning, 8-0 win. It was the eighth perfect game in school history.
Oklahoma won 17 straight games from Feb. 29 to March 25. It was the longest winning streak since OU won 23 games in a row in 2007. The streak in 2012 began with a 6-1 win over North Texas and culminated in a 1-0 loss to No. 15 Baylor. During their run, the Sooners outscored their opponents 124-11.
Under Patty Gasso, OU has 18 winning streaks of at least 10 games, including three of at least 23 games and six of at least 15.
RICKETTS NAMED USA SOFTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Keilani Ricketts was named the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year by the Amateur Softball Association at the opening banquet for the Women's College World Series. Ricketts became the first player in
Oklahoma history to earn the honor and was just the second to be named a finalist, following in the footsteps of her sister Samantha in 2007.
TRIO EARNS ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Juniors Keilani Ricketts and Jessica Shults and freshman Lauren Chamberlain were all named to the 2012 Louisville Slugger National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America First Teams. Ricketts also earned first team honors as a sophomore after being named to the second team in her debut season, while Shults was named to the second team each of the last two seasons.
FOUR GARNER ALL-REGION ACCOLADES
Four members of the Oklahoma Softball program were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Central Region teams. Lauren Chamberlain, Keilani Ricketts and Jessica Shults were named to the region's first team while Georgia Casey was named to the second team. Oklahoma has now had 50 players receive NFCA All-Region honors in the program's history.
SOONERS TAKE THREE OF FIVE BIG 12 AWARDS
Oklahoma took three of the five Big 12 yearly awards as junior Keilani Ricketts was named the unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year, Lauren Chamberlain the unanimous Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Patty Gasso was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year for the fifth time in her career.
Ricketts is the eighth player in Oklahoma history to earn the Big 12 Player of the Year award while Chamberlain is the third to earn the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award. Gasso had previously been named the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 1996, 1999, 2000 and 2009. OU had previously won all three awards in the same year once in 1999.
In addition to the three awards, the Sooners placed four athletes on the All-Big 12 first team as freshman Georgia Casey and junior Jessica Shults joined Ricketts and Chamberlain on the team. Sophomore outfielder Destinee Martinez was named All-Big 12 second team.