Oklahoma University Athletics

NORMAN — Friday’s 9-2 win over Clemson in the first round of the Norman Super Regional sets up a potential storybook Saturday afternoon for the Oklahoma softball team.

The victory was 47he directly to the top-ranked and seeded Sooners (55-1), tying the record Division I streak set by Arizona that spanned two seasons (1996-97).

If OU can set a DI record on Saturday with its 48he win in a row, the Sooners would also keep their hopes of a third straight national championship alive while advancing to the Women’s College World Series for the seventh consecutive season and the 11thhe time in the last 12 seasons.

As if those stakes weren’t high enough, Saturday’s noon start could be the last game hosted at Marita Hynes Field, which has been OU’s home for the past 25 seasons. Love’s Field, the Sooners’ new home being built at a current estimated cost of more than $48 million, is scheduled to open in time for next season.

One more tidbit from Saturday: It happens to be the OU head coach’s birthday Patty Gasso.

However, a Clemson victory in Game 2 would instantly turn the Sooners’ multi-faceted dream scenario into a nightmare.

Friday’s success came under unusual circumstances for OU, which struggled defensively with two fielding errors.

“It wasn’t our best defensive performance, which is very uncharacteristic,” Gasso said. “That’s just not us.”

Offensively, the Sooners took advantage of almost every opportunity and only stranded one baserunner. Meanwhile, the Tigers failed to capitalize on multiple occasions with nine runners on base.

In what was the first meeting between the two programs, OU took a 2-0 lead Friday with a run in the first and second innings.

Cydney Sanders’ two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth pushed the Sooners’ lead to 4–0.

Fueled by two OU errors in the fifth inning, the Tigers closed the deficit to 4-2, which could have been even closer had they not left the bases loaded.

The Sooners led off the bottom half of the inning with five straight hits: a makeshift bunt down the first base line by rylie boone; an easy straight downtown from jayda coleman; an infield single to shortstop from Tiare Jennings load the bases with no outs; followed by a grand slam to the center of haley lee; and a solo home run from Alyssa Britowho made an error in the top half of the inning.

“It’s a testament to feeling adversity and answering that call,” Gasso said of the five-run outburst. “(Boone’s opening bunt) wasn’t my call, and I’m all for that call. It triggered everything and created that momentum. They didn’t expect that, I don’t think so. You can feel it (the momentum) building when it gets back-to-back like that. , they just go crazy.It’s like a wave that’s ready to break.

“Everyone supports each other without really saying it. Brito knew that. I started to say something to him. I thought, ‘Okay, we’re good. Everyone’s good. What we do.’ “

OU collected seven hits (another five fly balls reached the warning track) and seven earned runs against USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year finalist Valerie Cagle in over 4.0 innings of work against the redshirt junior right-hander.

“She had a bad tackle today and it got away from her a little bit,” Clemson’s fourth-year head coach John Rittman said afterward. “It was a close game except for two innings today.”

After throwing out 99 pitches, Sooners started as a sophomore right-hander. jordy bahl he was pulled with one out and the bases empty in the sixth inning. She was relieved by the right-handed senior redshirt Alex Storakowho retired the last five batters.

“It’s almost like there’s a switch thrown,” Bahl said of the Sooners instantly clinching the win in a five-hitter span in the fifth inning. “It happens that fast.”

Despite both teams finishing with eight hits, Clemson ended up trailing by seven runs.

“We had a lot of opportunities,” Rittman said. “It’s definitely a challenge (facing the Sooners). It’s not an easy out in that lineup. There’s a reason they’re ranked No. 1 in the country.”

Coleman went 2-for-4 and scored twice, while Lee had five RBIs.

OU is seeking its sixth national crown in the past nine seasons.


• OU hit back-to-back home runs for the ninth time this season.

• The Sooners have homered in 49 of 56 games, including multiple home runs in 28 games and three or more in 14.

• OU has multiple home runs in four straight games (all NCAA playoff games) and five of last six games played.

• Lee’s fifth-inning grand slam was the first as a Sooner and the second of his career.

• Second year student cydney sanders he has homered in three straight games, bringing his season total to eight with seven since April 15 and four in OU’s last nine games.

• The Sooners tied the Tigers in hits, marking just the sixth time OU has been outhit or tied with an opponent in hits. All six have been OU wins.

• Game two on Saturday is scheduled to kick off at 12 pm CT and can be seen on ESPN with Eric Frede and Madison Shipman on the call. All OU games can be heard on 107.7 The Franchise in Oklahoma and across the country on The Varsity Network app.

For updates and more information on Oklahoma softball, follow the Sooners on Twitter and Instagram (@OU_Softball) and like Oklahoma Softball on Facebook.