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OU Softball: Oklahoma Earns No. 1-Overall Seed in 2023 NCAA Tournament

Patty Gasso's Big 12 Champions are once again the top seed in the NCAA Tournament, and will host the Norman Regional this weekend.

Oklahoma’s postseason path is officially set.

Patty Gasso’s two-time defending national champions earned the No. 1-overall seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, it was announced on Sunday night.

There wasn’t much drama that went into that decision, however.

The Sooners rolled through the regular season and enter tournament play with a 51-1 overall record and riding a 43-game winning streak.

OU leads the country in a number of major statistics, pacing everyone in team batting average, ERA, fielding percentage, slugging percentage and home runs per game while also entering the tournament with the nation’s top RPI.

In an interview after the bracket was released, Gasso praised both the depth and the mindset of her team as key factors in being able to put together a regular season worthy of the top-overall seed.

“We have a very balanced lineup,” Gasso told ESPN’s Holly Rowe on the selection show broadcast. “A very balanced team where I can interact and bring in athletes any time I want. If we have injuries it’s not something that we would panic about because we have such a good contingency of players that can come in at any time.

“So it’s consistency. It’s hard work. It’s grit. It’s clutch. It’s all those things you need in postseason.”

After capturing both the Big 12 regular season title and this past weekends’ tournament championship, the real question for Oklahoma headed into the selection show was simply who would be coming to Marita Hynes Field to participate in the Norman Regional.

The tournament committee shipped California, Missouri and Hofstra into OU’s regional, and Oklahoma’s opening game of the weekend will come against Hofstra. 

Gasso said her team will get to work scouting Hofstra, as they have to treat their tournament opener with the same mentality they’ve shown all year.

“We gotta do like we play every game,” Gasso said. “Come out, play hard, be focused, execute. All the things you need to do to win.”

After the Sooners beat Texas for the Big 12 Tournament title on Saturday, OU pitcher Jordy Bahl expressed how excited she is going to be to prepare for three new teams ahead of the NCAA Tournament.

“It's going to be pretty fun,” Bahl said. “Especially through conference, by the time you get to the tournament it almost feels like you're playing cat and mouse games at times because you've seen them a lot of times but they've also seen you.

“So it's just always trying to level up with your preparation and your game plan, like you kind of said. I'm excited to see who is going to be in our regional and lock in on them.”

Oklahoma’s dominant showing in both games at the Big 12 Tournament pleased Gasso, as she doesn’t think her team could have done anything else to better prepare for regional play.

“We're ready,” Gasso said. “We just need to rest and have good practices. and make good choices and all those good things. But we're ready.”

Should Oklahoma advance through regional play into Super Regionals, the Sooners would be matched up against the winner of the Clemson Regional.

The 16-seeded Clemson Tigers will host that regional, and they’ll battle Auburn, Cal State Fullerton and UNC Greensboro for a spot in the Super Regionals. 

Oklahoma and Hofstra will play on Friday, May 19 at 4 p.m. at Marita Hynes Field, and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Missouri and California will follow at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.