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NCAA Softball Norman Regional | The Oklahoma Sooners vs. The Field

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The Sooners return to the post season on Friday evening when they host Wichita State in the second game of the Norman Regional.

Rich DeCray SBN

Patty Gasso has a pretty good thing going in Norman. A year after graduating a ton of talent Oklahoma's softball coach has been able to assemble a crew of all-stars so talented that they swept the Big 12 postseason awards. Led by senior Erin Miller the Sooners have blistered the ball from the plate. Miller hit .361 in league play and led Oklahoma with 22 hits, 21 runs scored, four doubles and 38 total bases. Freshman Shay Knighten hit a team-high .412 batting average and 18 runs batted in during conference play and tied Miller for the team lead in home runs with four.

From the circle its all about sophomore Paige Parker. The two-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Year was outstanding in conference play, recording a 13-0 record with six shutouts and led the conference with a 1.43 earned run average, 78.1 innings pitched, 86 strikeouts, 11 complete games and an opponents' batting average of .182.

The Sooners have reached the postseason in each of the past 23 seasons and are hosting a Regional for the 13th time in their history, including each of the last six seasons. Oklahoma is 58-17 all-time in Regional play with 14 Regional championship in 21 appearances. OU has won 13 straight Regional contests and 18 of its last 19 dating to 2010. In the team's 13-game win streak, it has outscored opponents 158-38 (12.1-2.9), including a 17-5 margin last year.

Two of the teams coming to the Norman Regional were on Oklahoma's 2016 schedule and one of them is making their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Here's the rundown of the rest of the teams.

Wichita State (35-19)

Patty Gasso has never lost to Wichita State. Since coming to Oklahoma in 1995 she has compiled a 32-0 record against the Shockers, including a 2-0 win in the 2005 Norman Regional. The two teams met last month with the Sooners winning in a 10-1 run rule after five innings.

Who To Keep An Eye On

Cacy Williams batted .362 for the Shockers in 2016 and led the team in hits (55), RBI (48), and home runs (14).

Tulsa native Macklin Hitz led Wichita State with a .378 batting average while also recording 44 RBI and 10 home runs.

Tulsa (35-19)

Oklahoma is 39-10 all-time against the Golden Hurricane, including a 21-4 mark in Norman. Winners of five consecutive games in the series, the Sooners are also 3-2 all-time against Tulsa in the NCAA Regionals. OU was eliminated by TU in 2009 before winning two of three matchups in 2011 and winning again in 2012.

The Sooners and Golden Hurricane played in Tulsa on May 4th with Oklahoma winning 4-1.

Who To Keep An Eye On

Catherine Horner is hitting .276 with 11 doubles, 24 RBI and 30 runs scored.

Caitlin Sill has posted a 19-10 record and a 1.72 ERA, with 21 complete games and eight shutouts in 27 starts.

Shelby Estocado leads Tulsa with 11 home runs, 47 runs scored. She's batting  .335, and has compiled 41 RBI, eight doubles, and a .411 on-base percentage.

Ole Miss (39-20)

The Sooners haven't played Ole Miss since the 2000 season, but they are 3-0 all-time against the Rebels. Oklahoma is also 3-0 against the SEC this year with wins over Alabama in Fullerton, Calif.,  and at both Arkansas and Tennessee.

Ole Miss is making their first ever appearance in the NCAA Softball Tournament.

Who To Keep An Eye On

Elantra Cox hit .369 on the season with 59 hits and 30 runs and 16 RBI.

Hailey Lunderman has led Ole Miss all season with a .372 average, breaking the Rebels' single-season record with 73 hits and 40 runs scored.

Madi Osias has posted a 2.95 ERA in 163 innings pitched, and has 10 complete games in 26 starts. She also set the school record with 21 wins on the season.