No. 1 Oklahoma 5-2 Against 2013 WCWS Field

Oklahoma College Softball Keilani Ricketts

No. 1 Oklahoma 5-2 Against 2013 WCWS Field

As expected, No. 1 ranked Oklahoma has the best record against the other seven teams in the Women’s College World Series, which starts Thursday in Oklahoma City. The Sooners (52-4) have compiled a 5-2 record against the WCWS field with a 1-0 record against Washington and 2-1 records against Nebraska and Texas.

OU is making its third consecutive appearance and eighth overall after winning the Super Regional in two run-rule games against Texas A&M. It was the third time OU hosted a Super Regional and the Sooners have won their last six games in Super Regional play. OU enters the World Series with an eight-game consecutive win streak. The Sooners were 54-10 last year and the only time they lost consecutive games last year was the last two games of the WCWS best-of-three championship series against Alabama, which didn’t advance this year and lost in the Super-Regionals to SEC rival Tennessee.

OU’s opponent, Michigan, has a 3-2 record against the seven other teams, having gone 1-0 against Washington and Arizona State and 1-2 versus Nebraska, which surprised the Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks in the Super Regional, winning the third and deciding game 4-2 after Oregon had won 4-3 in 11 innings to force the if necessary game.  Michigan (50-11) is making its 10th appearance in the WCWS and first since 2009. It also has won an NCAA softball title (2005).

The Cornhuskers are even in six games against the WCWS field, going 1-2 against OU, and 2-1 versus Michigan. The Cornhuskers play in the opening game at 11 a.m. and face Washington, which has the worst record against the seven other teams, 1-5, going 0-1 against OU, Texas and Michigan and 1-2 against ASU. Nebraska is making its sixth appearance in the WCWS after winning its first Super Regional against the No. 3 ranked Oregon Ducks. Washington (43-15) will return to Oklahoma City for the first time since 2010 and the 11th time in school history.

SEC rivals Florida and Tennessee play the second game at 1:30 p.m. Thursday with the Gators 2-1 against Tennessee while the Vols are 1-2 against the Gators. This is the fifth trip in six years for the Gators while the Vols are making their sixth trip in the past nine years under Ralph and Karen Weekly, co-head coaches of the Vols.

The first of two evening games Thursday has Texas facing ASU. Texas is 2-3 against the WCWS field including 0-1 against ASU, 1-0 against Washington and 1-2 against OU. ASU is 3-2 against the field, 1-0 versus Texas, 0-1 versus Michigan and 2-1 against Washington. ASU is making its seventh appearance in eight years under head coach Clint Myers and 11th appearance overall.  Texas is coming off an outstanding Super Regional with senior pitcher Blaire Luna no-hitting Florida State in the deciding game Sunday (4-0) to advance the Longhorns to the WCWS for the first time since 2006 and fifth time overall. Luna fanned 13 batters in pitching her fourth no-hitter of this season and eighth of her career.

Unlike other years where maybe one conference dominated the number of teams in the eight-team field, this year is balanced with two each from the SEC, Big Ten, Pac 12 and SEC. Last year the event drew in excess of 75,000 and don’t be surprised if this year’s WCWS tops 80,000. When OU plays its opening game on Thursday night, an attendance record could be set considering the strong Sooner booster club and the large crowds that attended Marita Hynes Field for the recent Regional and Super Regional. It’s the event fans, players and others involved in college softball look forward to and this year is no exception.