Skip to main content

OU Softball: Oklahoma Excited to Face 'Chaotic' and 'Suffocating' Baton Rouge Environment

Oklahoma softball coach Patty Gasso searched for a tough road atmosphere to challenge her team, and she got it in the LSU Tigers.

Patty Gasso is still looking to challenge her Oklahoma Sooners.

Her top-ranked OU team has navigated all sorts of challenges this year.

Multi-team tournaments, difficult mid-week tilts and an emotional National Championship rematch at Hall of Fame Stadium have all been successfully navigated by this year’s Sooners, but now Oklahoma will put its 28-game winning streak on the line behind enemy lines.

Tuesday night, Gasso is taking her team to the Bayou to take on the No. 13-ranked LSU Tigers.

Over the past two years, the Sooners have become accustomed to mid-week SEC battles.

Oklahoma split a double-header with Georgia in 2021 and traveled to Lexington to beat Kentucky in 2022.

On both occasions, a healthy Crimson and Cream contingent was on hand to cheer on the Sooners.

But traveling to Baton Rogue should be a different experience — at least that’s what Gasso is counting on.

“Here's what's been happening, and I know this isn't going to happen (at LSU)” Gasso said after the Sooners swept Texas Tech on Saturday. “… You walk into a stadium and you're thinking everyone's going to be doing cheers for the other team. When you walk in you hear 'Boomer!' And I'm like, ‘oh no.’

“I want a hostile environment. I want us to feel like we're the underdogs and everything we don't do right is cheered and everything they do right is cheered. I just want them to feel a chaotic environment, a suffocating environment.”

Before the season, it didn’t take Gasso very long to target the Tigers as a team that could deliver on the atmosphere front.

“You try to find the toughest place where you think you might play where crowd can be a big factor and where the team is good,” she said. “And the first group I thought of was LSU.’

LSU coach Beth Torina answered the call and leapt at the opportunity to host the Sooners.

“As soon as I talked to her about it,” said Gasso, “she was like, 'let's go. Come on. Come on. Come on.’”

The team on the field opposite of Oklahoma will provide a challenge as well.

Though the Tigers have struggled through SEC play so far, posting a 6-6 record to date, they still pose a danger.

LSU ranks 14th nationally with a .326 team batting average. The long-ball isn’t key to the offense, however, as the Tigers have hit just 32 bombs this year.

Oklahoma’s pitching staff is fresh off a complete series shutout of Texas Tech.

Entering the weekend, the Red Raiders had ranked second in the nation in home runs, but Alex Storako, Jordy Bahl and Nicole May rarely even let runners reach base.

LSU will need timely hitting to apply pressure on the OU pitching staff, otherwise the Tigers could struggle a string together hits and score on the Sooners.

The Tigers bring a pitching staff to the table as well.

Posting a 1.97 ERA so far, LSU’s pitchers rank No. 17-overall.

But Oklahoma’s hitters still pace the nation in batting average, and it won’t need a ton of time to get acclimated to SEC competition.

The Sooners are 13-0 in ranked matchups so far this year, and OU is 7-0 against members of its future conference in 2023.

This Oklahoma team hasn’t been dropped into a hornet’s nest the likes of Baton Rouge yet this year, however, and Gasso can’t wait to see how her team responds to the challenge.

“I really want to see them up against big time players in a big time environment,” she said. “An SEC school, a future opponent. It's a tough place to play in any sport. I think everybody knows that. And I'm just really excited to see how we handle ourselves in that environment.

“It's been a long time since we've been able to simulate something like that.”

First pitch between the Sooners and the Tigers is scheduled or 6 p.m. on Tuesday, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2. 

Want to join the discussion? Click here to become a member of the AllSooners message board community today!

Sign up for your premium membership to today, and get access to the entire Fan Nation premium network!

Follow AllSooners on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest OU news.