It only took 23 seasons for Oklahoma softball to record its first undefeated season in conference play. Out of all the records and championships this program has enjoyed in its prolific history, making it through Big 12 play unblemished remained an elusive feat. However, after beating the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in the regular season finale Saturday night, the Sooners are not only peaking at the right time, they’re doing it in unprecedented fashion.
Beyond a perfect 18-0 conference record, the Oklahoma Sooners find themselves in the midst of a few staggering streaks. Dating back to last season, OU has won a program-high 25 consecutive conference games, and 29 straight home games. This season has also been record-setting in and of itself in the win/loss column. Oklahoma’s 47-3 (.940 winning percentage) overall record is the best mark through 50 games played in Sooner history.
Yes, all the streaks and records are great, but none of it would have happened without the efforts of the outstanding players on this team. Now I specifically want to highlight the upperclassmen on this squad. Since seniors Kelsey Arnold, Paige Parker, Nicole Pendley and Lea Wodach were freshmen, Oklahoma’s record has been 214-29. That’s an absolutely outrageous winning percentage of .881, and among all that success are four Big 12 titles, three Women’s College World Series appearances, and two national championships, with the opportunity to play for a third straight natty on the horizon.
Sure, the seniors on this team have had an abundance of success throughout their careers, but for juniors like Fale Aviu, Caleigh Clifton, Shay Knighten and Sydney Romero, all these ladies know is winning. In their freshmen season, Oklahoma won the 2016 national championship. The following year, the Sooners repeated as champs. When it comes to the first half of a collegiate career, it simply doesn’t get any better than that, folks, and the chance to go back-to-back-to-back is theirs for the taking.
Up next for these dynastic Sooners is the Phillips 66 Big 12 Softball Championship. Judging by the regular season, Oklahoma should be up for the challenge against this final stretch of Big 12 competition. Head coach Patty Gasso will work her magic to have this team focused and not looking ahead, but the true test for this team will come afterwards. As soon as the NCAA Regionals are announced, each and every team the Sooners play will want their chance to take down the two-time reigning national champs.
Just remember, Sooner fans, no matter seed Oklahoma is given going into the NCAA Tournament, the entire nation knows who the true favorite is. With how deep, talented and experienced Gasso’s squad is this season, no team is more prepared to return to Oklahoma City than our Sooners. For these upperclassmen, winning is second-nature.
I would give anything to have played four years at this university ... it has truly been life changing, and these girls will be a huge part of my heart for as long as I live. WE AIN’T DONE YET THO 18-0 pic.twitter.com/h13Fsp9oTz— Paige Lowary (@PAIGELOWARY) May 6, 2018
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