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Mike Lopresti | | May 3, 2023

25 stats that scratch the surface of how good Oklahoma softball really is

Watch the final out from Oklahoma softball's 2022 WCWS title

Who’s the softball juggernaut that produced more home runs in five innings against the current No. 2 team in the nation than its pitchers have allowed in 15 conference games?

Who has allowed 37 runs all season but has scored 102 just in the second inning?

Who has turned more double plays than it has committed errors?

Yeah, this is about the Oklahoma Sooners. They and their stat sheet that glows in the dark, with a dominance gap that looks like the Grand Canyon of softball. As they steamroll through yet another mighty season — with maybe yet another national championship at the end — the sheer tonnage of numbers is what’s impossible to miss with the machine in Norman.

This is the weekend to notice, too. The 46-1 Sooners finish the regular season against their Bedlam Series buddies at Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls are a top-10 team with a 41-9 record, and when last seen on the field with Oklahoma, they were shocking the Sooners 4-3 in eight innings to win the 2022 Big 12 tournament. The 2023 regular season conference title is already in the bag for Oklahoma, clinched last weekend, but motivation will not be an issue. Oh, no.

"We’re not satisfied and these guys know that," coach Patty Gasso said after the Big 12 clincher last Saturday against Kansas. "We’re going in next weekend and we’re getting after it."

NCAA softball has, what, a dozen different top-25 rankings? OK, it only seems that way. But however many there are, the Sooners are No. 1 in all of them. Matter of fact, they could have their own top-25 of extraordinary feats:

1. Thirty-eight wins in a row. The lone defeat — a 4-3 blip on the screen against Baylor in the Getterman Classic  — came the weekend after Valentine’s Day. In the 38 games since they have trailed at the end of only 10 innings.

2. Four consecutive non-COVID seasons with a 30-game victory streak.

3. Eleven Big 12 season titles in a row. In those 11 years they’re 182-15 in league games, so they have only four fewer conference championships in those 11 seasons than they have conference defeats.

4. Fifty-three consecutive Big 12 series victories, 45 of them with sweeps. The Sooners have not dropped a league series since 2011.

5. A combined score of 107-11 in their 15-0 Big 12 record so far this season. The home run differential has been 32-5.

6. Out of 47 games, 29 shutouts thrown by the pitchers.

7. A 17-0 record against ranked opponents, by a combined score of 124-18.

8. The current No. 2 team in the land is UCLA. Oklahoma and the Bruins met in late February. The Sooners hit six home runs and won 14-0 in five innings.

9. Four no-hitters. In other words, the pitching staff owns three more no-hitters than defeats.

10. A scoring differential of 102-2 in the second inning. So the Oklahoma offense has produced 65 more runs just in that inning than its opponents have scored in the entire game.

11. Out of 47 games, 23 ended early because of run rule. Five of those were against ranked foes.

12. A 391-37 run differential for the season. The Sooners have 242 more runs than their opponents have hits.

13. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association has had a softball top-25 poll for 28 years and more than 400 weeks. There has never been one week without Oklahoma in the rankings,

14. Gasso has won more than 80 percent of her games over 29 seasons. The Sooners went 43-23 her first year. We mention that because that has been the worst season percentage-wise under Gasso. Before she took over in 1995, Oklahoma had never played in the College World Series, never won a conference title, never finished ranked in the top-15, and had played in one NCAA tournament ever. In her time, the Sooners have been to 15 World Series, won 15 conference titles, and later this month will finish in the top-25 for the 29th time and play in their 28th tournament.  

15. Oklahoma has stolen 38 bases this season, and allowed only seven.

16. The Sooners have hit 89 home runs, the opponents 17.

17. Oklahoma has knocked out 185 extra-base hits this season. The other side has 30.

18. The Oklahoma pitchers have struck out 362 batters. The Sooner hitters have struck out only 113 times.

19. Oklahoma is 161-8 since the start of the 2021 season.

20. USA Softball is down to its 25 finalists for college player of the year. Five of the 25 are on the field for Oklahoma — second baseman Tiare Jennings with her Sooner-leading 49 RBI, centerfielder Jayda Coleman with her team high .454 batting average, and pitchers Nicole May, Alex Storako and Jordy Bahl, who together are 44-1 and have struck out 203 more batters than they’ve allowed hits.

Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/NCAA Photos via Getty Images Jayda Coleman robs a Texas player of a home run in the 2022 WCWS.Jayda Coleman robs a Texas player of a home run in the 2022 WCWS.

21. Only 14 errors committed in 47 games. "It’s becoming routine and nothing about what they’re doing is routine," Gasso said of the staggering consistency in the field. "This defense, I'm in the game but sometimes I wish I was watching it from the stands."

22. Five earned runs allowed the entire month of April by Oklahoma’s four pitchers. They have given up more than two runs in only seven of 46 games. The staff earned run average for the season is 0.78. The opponents have a .153 batting average, and 119 of their 149 hits have been singles. "They’re hungry. They’re waiting for their time. If you’re on this pitching staff you’re probably throwing in one game a weekend and that’s new to them and they want more," Gasso said of her staff. "That whole iron sharpens iron is what this pitching staff is about."

23.  A .374 team batting average. Five different players have at least 40 RBI and 13 have homered.

24. Sixty-one consecutive sellouts at home. Earlier this season the Sooners beat Texas in front of 8,930 at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium to break an NCAA regular season record. "A big, magical moment for us," Gasso called it. They’ll be moving into the new Love’s Field next season with a capacity of more than 3,000. "We are here to raise the ceiling for women’s athletics (and) for women’s softball," Gasso said.

25. Bottom line, Oklahoma leads the nation in scoring . .  . and batting average . . . and earned run average . . . and fielding percentage. So a third consecutive national championship next month seems more than doable. That would give the Sooners six titles in the past 10 NCAA tournaments. It’d also be No. 7 for Gasso, who won her first 23 years ago.

But before that tournament run can start, there’s some business left this weekend in Stillwater. Oklahoma State remains in the top-10 despite dropping six of its past eight games, but four of the six defeats were in extra innings. In 2021, the Cowgirls snapped Oklahoma’s 57-game Big 12 winning streak. In 2022, they denied the Sooners the conference tournament title. "Our program is gaining traction," Oklahoma State coach Kenny Gajewski said that day.

Here’s the chance to gain a bunch more. But for optimum confidence, the Cowgirls might not want to linger long over the Oklahoma stat sheet.

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Division I
Softball Championship
June 1-9, 2023
USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium | Oklahoma City, OK

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