We’ve seen this story before.
Last year’s Women’s College World Series final was three tight, tense games that came right down to the wire before the Oklahoma Sooners topped the Auburn Tigers 2-1 in the rubber match to claim their third national championship in Oklahoma City. The Tigers struck back in the first game of 2017 with a 3-2 victory. Clearly these are evenly matched teams who want another shot at each other.
But this time, Oklahoma will have to take two of three on the road.
In the Norman Regional, Oklahoma became just the eighth team since 2005 to advance after dropping the first game. They survived four straight elimination contests and beat Tulsa 3-0 in the final to move on to Auburn.
The preseason No. 1 Sooners didn’t have the smoothest season, with a disappointing non-conference slate that gave way to a dominant Big 12 championship run. OU earned the 10 seed in the tournament, good enough for a regional host but not for a super.
The good news? Oklahoma hasn’t lost a road game all season. OU went 16-0 away from Norman this year and hasn’t dropped a road contest since April 8, 2016. Would they rather be in Norman? Sure, but they won’t be daunted by the Alabama atmosphere either.
The OU pitching staff, which boasts a minuscule 1.55 ERA, is led by last year’s hero Paige Parker but also includes solid backup options in Paige Lowary and Mariah Lopez. Look for all three to get some innings this weekend.
How to Watch
Friday: 3 p.m., ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Saturday: Noon, ESPN / WatchESPN
Sunday (if necessary): Noon, ESPN / WatchESPN