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Oklahoma Softball: Sooners Looking to Take Command of Norman Regional Against Texas A&M

Oklahoma is just two wins away from punching its ticket back to hosting a Super Regional next weekend.

NORMAN — Patty Gasso couldn’t have drawn up a better start to the NCAA Tournament.

Her top-seeded Sooners (50-2) dispatched of Prairie View A&M on Friday night, as Oklahoma fired on all cylinders.

Nicole May and Hope Trautwein combined for a no-hitter, setting a new program record in the process as it was the seventh no-no of the year for the pitching staff.

The dominant display in the circle was supported by a 14-run performance from the offense, where four different Sooners launched home runs.

How to Watch:

  • Oklahoma vs  Texas A&M: Saturday, 1 p.m., ESPN+

If there was any hangover following OU’s loss to the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in last weekend’s Big 12 Tournament, Oklahoma showed no signs in its NCAA Tournament opener.

While the team performed at a high level on the field, Gasso said she was even more pleased with how her group approached the contest in the dugout.

“The dugout was on fire,” Gasso said after the win on Friday. “I think this is the most top-to-bottom engaged that I had seen them in a long time.

“For example, I pointed out to the team after the game. Alyssa Brito had a not so great first at-bat, a really great educated second at-bat, and then I took her out. And that girl was just on fire (in the dugout)… It felt very team-oriented tonight.”

Even after the game was well in hand, the energy poured out from the dugout.

When freshman Turiya Coleman blasted her first home run of the year, it sparked the longest celebration of the night at home plate from the Sooners.

“When (Turiya Coleman) hit the home run, you would have thought that we’ve just won a big time championship,” Gasso said. “… I was most satisfied with the camaraderie of the team in the dugout. And that is what we need.

“The dugout needs to be so engaged… And I felt that they were engaged in every at-bat and every pitch.”

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Oklahoma’s victory over the Panthers slid the Sooners into the winner’s bracket, where the Texas A&M Aggies (30-26) now loom.

The Aggies notched a big win themselves on Friday, toppling Minnesota 5-1 just before the Sooners took the field.

Regardless of whoever gets the ball in the circle for the Sooners against Texas A&M, they’ll have experience to lean on.

May helped guide OU through last year’s championship run, and Gasso stressed the need to get Trautwein an inning of work against Prairie View A&M so the North Texas transfer would be able to experience the atmosphere of postseason play at Marita Hynes Field.

The pitching staff will again have the benefit of run support from an Oklahoma offense reinvigorated by having Jayda Coleman back in the leadoff spot.

In her return to the top of the lineup, the sophomore centerfielder went 2-for-2 with an RBI, also drawing a walk and a hit by pitch.

Jayda Coleman said her job starting things off for the Sooners is actually pretty simple.

“My role is just to get on base because I’ve got (Jocelyn Alo) right behind me,” Jayda Coleman said on Friday. “I’m just doing whatever I can to get on base.”

If Oklahoma can take care of business on Saturday, the weekend becomes incredibly straightforward. OU would arrive at Marita Hynes Field on Sunday, and a team would have to beat the Sooners twice to deny them a spot in the Super Regionals next weekend.

OU will get its chance to take a vice grip on the Normal Regional Saturday.

The Sooners and the Aggies are scheduled to square off at 1 p.m., and the contest will be streamed on ESPN+.

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