Season Opens Feb. 8, Home Opener Set for March 1
Nov. 6, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione and Oklahoma softball head coach Patty Gasso have announced the Sooners’ 2013 softball schedule.
Oklahoma will face at least 17 teams that reached the NCAA Regionals, six that advanced to the Super Regionals and one that joined the Sooners at the Women's College World Series. Nineteen of the Sooners’ 55 scheduled games are set to take place at Marita Hynes Field, home of Oklahoma Softball.
“Our goal is to always load our schedule with good competition because it not only boosts our RPI and helps us prepare for the postseason, but also because our players absolutely love to play in those big games,” Coach Gasso explained.
“We loaded up in February and March and we’ve got a big home doubleheader against Louisiana-Lafayette in early April, which will be a treat,” Gasso continued. “We’re also bringing Nebraska here in March, which will be a nice homecoming of sorts for them. I like the balance of our schedule this season and I know that the team is looking forward to attacking it.””
The season kicks off Feb. 8-10 at the annual Arizona State Kajikawa Classic in Phoenix, Ariz. Four of Oklahoma's five opponents reached the NCAA tournament last season. The season opens Friday, Feb. 8, against NCAA tournament-participants Stanford at 10 a.m. CT and Oregon State at 3 p.m. On Saturday, Oklahoma faces off against Oregon, who went 1-2 at the 2012 WCWS. The tournament wraps up Sunday against New Mexico and 2012 NCAA qualifier, Northwestern.
The Sooners then travel to San Diego, Calif., to take part in the Campbell/Cartier Classic Feb. 15-17. Like the Kajikawa Classic, four of OU’s five opponents at the tournament reached postseason play last year as San Diego State, Kentucky and Notre Dame all reached Regionals, and Washington advanced to the Supers.
The schedule keeps the Sooners in California the following weekend at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Feb. 21-23. Tournament play begins against Georgia, which reached the Super Regionals last year. The Sooners then face Arizona in a rematch of last season's Super Regional matchup, which OU swept in two games by a combined score of 13-1. After facing UC Santa Barbara and Nebraska on Feb. 22, Oklahoma ends play at the Classic against Florida State, which went 1-2 in the Regionals a year ago.
March 1-3 marks the first home series of the season for Oklahoma as it hosts Nebraska and NCAA qualifier Houston in the Spring Preview Tournament. Friday and Sunday’s games will be played at Marita Hynes Field, while both of Saturday’s contests will be played in Oklahoma City at ASA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
After a road game at Wichita State on March 6, Oklahoma returns home to host Northern Colorado and Drake over the March 6-8 weekend.
Oklahoma’s final tournament of the season is slated for March 15-17 at the Judi Garmin Classic in Fullerton, Calif. The Sooners open against Pacific and North Carolina State on Friday, before a rematch against Arizona on Saturday. The final day of competition pits OU against Penn State and host Cal-State Fullerton.
A pair of series against NCAA qualifiers rounds out the month of March for the Sooners. After a three-game set against Louisville, March 23-24, OU welcomes 2012 Super Regional participant Louisiana-Lafayette for a doubleheader on April 3.
The Big 12 season starts two days later as the Baylor Bears, who reached the NCAA Regionals last season, visit Norman for a three-game series.
“The Big 12 will be strong again,” Gasso remarked. “The fans will be able to see some good matchups here in Norman within the conference.”
An April 10 contest against North Texas closes out the Sooners’ non-conference schedule before the team embarks on its first conference road trip of the year. OU travels to Lubbock, Texas, to face Texas Tech, which is fresh off an NCAA tournament appearance.
The first of three games against Oklahoma State is set for April 17 in Oklahoma City at ASA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium; while a trip to Texas has the Sooners facing the Longhorns, April 19-21.
Oklahoma returns home to take the field against Iowa State, April 26-28, before heading out on its final road trip of the season at Kansas, May 3-4.
The regular season concludes with two more games against Oklahoma State, May 11-12. Saturday’s contest will be played in Norman, while the Sunday finale is set for play in Stillwater.
The 2013 NCAA Regionals are scheduled to begin on May 17, while the Super Regionals open on May 24.
The Women’s College World Series will be played from May 29 to June 5 at ASA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma returns to the field after back-to-back trips to the Women’s College World Series, the sixth and seventh appearances in program history. The Sooners finished last season as the national runner-ups with a 54-10 record.