#2 Oklahoma Softball 2019 Preview

Oklahoma Sooners
Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
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Oklahoma was shooting for their third straight national title in 2018. And for a while it looked like it was going to happen. The Sooners only had three losses heading into the tournament and they crushed everybody in the Big 12 on their way to a perfect 18-0 conference record. Oklahoma cruised through the Norman Regional without giving up a run. They let Arkansas score a couple times in the Super Regional, but not enough to threaten the Sooners’ trip to the Women’s College World Series. But then OU ran into Washington. The Huskies beat them in the WCWS opener and again in the semifinals.
2018: 57-5, 18-0
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Patty Gasso
Key Departed Players:
Nicole Pendley, OF, .327 BA, 15 HR, 49 RBI
Kelsey Arnold, IF, .298 BA, 17 RBI
Paige Parker, P, .086 ERA, 29 W, 163.2 IP, 188 SO
Paige Lowary, P, .098 ERA, 10 W, 93.0 IP. 72 SO
Key Returning Players:
Jocelyn Alo, UTL, .415 BA, 28 HR, 70 RBI
Sydney Romero, IF, .414 BA, 12 HR, 59 RBI
Shay Knighten, IF, .365 BA, 8 HR, 29 RBI
Nicole Mendes, UTL, .314 BA, 15 RBI, 12 SB
Caleigh Clifton, IF, .297 BA, 7 HR, 40 RBI, 12 SB
Falepolima Aviu, OF, .285 BA, 5 HR, 40 RBI
Mariah Lopez, P, 1.56 ERA, 14 W, 76.1 IP, 87 SO
The loss of Paige Parker and Paige Lowary leaves some big questions in the circle. Those two accounted for 39 wins and both had a sub 1.00 ERA. Despite the dominance of Parker and Lowary, Mariah Lopez managed to throw 76.1 innings with a 1.56 ERA. She will team up with transfer Giselle Juarez. Juarez was an All-American last year as a sophomore at Arizona State. She sported a 1.22 ERA and allowed just 91 hits in 224.1 innings of work. Once again OU will have a very potent offense. Jocelyn Alo and Sydney Romero are two of the best all-around hitters in the nation. Both hit over .400 and they combined for 40 homeruns and 129 RBIs. Add in Shay Knighten, Nicole Mendes, Caleigh Clifton and Falepolima Aviu and Coach Patty Gasso has a dangerous lineup top to bottom. The Sooners may not be quite as dominate in the circle as they have been the last few years, but this is still a team that should have no trouble making it back to the WCWS.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament