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Oklahoma Softball: Sooners Ready to Battle Familiar Foe for Big 12 Championship

Bedlam will once again decide Big 12 silverware on Saturday afternoon in Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Last weekend, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State met with the Big 12 regular season title on the line.

Saturday, the Big 12’s two marquee softball programs will decide the postseason title.

The No. 1-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (49-1) swept the Cowgirls (40-12) last weekend in Norman, but Patty Gasso said her team is likely to be missing a key piece on Saturday.

True freshman phenom is experiencing soreness, and Gasso said the Sooners will be resting their ace of the staff.

Gasso has stressed how crucial the lost innings from the massive number of run rules have been to her pitchers, as they’ve lost the opportunity to continue to improve.

Now, the ball will be in Nicole May and Hope Trautwein’s court to help bring home another Big 12 Championship.

“It’s really important going into postseason that you have a full batch of pitchers ready to go,” Gasso said after OU’s win over Iowa State on Friday. “And experience has a lot to do with that. All season long I’ve been talking about how many innings we’ve lost, and it will become a factor if we don’t continue to give these guys opportunities.

“… If we don’t need to use Jordy we’re not going to use Jordy because more than anything these other pitchers need this. They need this tournament. They need to feel this tournament.”

Neither May nor Trautwein are without massive performances for the Sooners this year.

Just last week, May and Trautwein combined to pitch 12 1/3 innings against the Cowgirls, holding Oklahoma State to just three runs in the process.

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Oklahoma’s pitchers won’t be entering the battle alone on Saturday.

The OU offense battered Oklahoma State for 18 runs last weekend in Norman, and have historically had great success off of OSU ace Kelly Maxwell.

On Friday, Oklahoma wasted no time providing the fireworks as Lynnsie Elam launched a grand slam in the first inning.

After that, however, Gasso said she was disappointed in how the team gave away a few at-bats later in the contest.

But overall, Gasso said she’s been pleased with how the team has progressed over the last month of the season, and she hopes they’ll be able to build on that momentum Saturday.

“I do (think we’re playing well),” Gasso said. “I feel like we’ve been playing really well as of probably the last three or four weeks for sure.”

The fourth addition of Bedlam this season is scheduled to get rolling at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the contest from Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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