MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OU

May 27, 2013

Sooners are cut above the rest at WCWS

NORMAN – While eight teams will compete in the Women’s College World Series beginning Thursday at ASA Hall of Fame stadium in Oklahoma City for a shot at the national title, only one has clearly set itself apart from the rest.

That team is Oklahoma. The top-ranked Sooners own the best record in the country at 52-4 and have continued to dominate through the postseason. They won four of the five games on their road to the World Series in run-rule fashion and punched their ticket over the weekend with a pair of run-rule wins over Texas A&M. None of the other teams in the tournament earned even one run-rule victory in the Super Regionals.

The numbers paint the full picture of how dominant the Sooners have been. They’ve outscored postseason opponents 59-8. Five players are batting over .380, and a pair of players in Lauren Chamberlain and Brittany Williams batting more than .700, bringing OU’s team average to nearly .400.

Their opponents, on the other hand, are batting just .188 as Keilani Ricketts and Michelle Gascoigne have combined for an ERA of 2.00 while striking out 44 hitters.

Heading into Thursday’s first-round matchup with Michigan (48-10), the Sooners aren’t putting much stock into numbers.

“None of that matters,” said OU coach Patty Gasso. “It’s all about rising to the occasion.”

The Sooners certainly did that against Texas A&M last weekend. The Aggies entered the Super Regional confident after defeating Baylor and the Bears’ ace Whitney Canion in a regional final that went to the last possible out in a three-game series, but left Norman thoroughly defeated after two performances in which the Sooners made the Aggies look bad at times.

“The score’s might look like ‘wow,’ but I don’t feel that,” Gasso said. “I feel a tight game going out there. Texas A&M was a good test for us and they made us better. They made Keilani step up and be on her game, and she did a really great job answering.”

She expects more of the same at the World Series. Joining OU and Michigan are Florida, Nebraska, Arizona State, Washington, Texas and Tennessee. The Volunteers defeated Alabama in the super regional, the team that knocked OU off in the championship game last year to grab the national title.

OU has a 5-2 record against this years’ World Series teams, posting a 2-1 record against both Texas and Nebraska, both of whom the Sooners dropped a game to earlier in the season. They also posted a win over Washington back in February.

“I’m just extremely proud of this team,” Gasso said. “Being one of final eight is quite an accomplishment. They gave us another chance to fight for a national championship.”

1
Text Only
OU
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks