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OU Softball: Oklahoma 'Ready, Anxious' For Another Crack at Baylor

The Sooners are looking to avenge their only loss of the season this weekend in Waco as OU returns to Big 12 play.

This weekend, Oklahoma returns to the scene of the crime.

Patty Gasso’s No. 1-ranked Sooners have defeated virtually all challengers, racking up an impressive 39-1 record so far this year.

The one loss came at the hands of a familiar foe — the Baylor Bears.

Glenn Moore’s Bears upset the Sooners 4-3 in a non-conference matchup to close out the second weekend of the 2023 season, serving as an early wakeup call for Oklahoma.

Since then, the Sooners have reeled off 31 consecutive wins, quickly snapping back into form.

How to Watch Oklahoma vs. Baylor

  • Game 1: Friday, 6:30 p.m., Getterman Stadium, ESPN+
  • Game 2: Saturday, 2 p.m., Getterman Stadium, ESPN+
  • Game 3, Sunday, 1 p.m., Getterman Stadium, ESPN+

“I’m anxious for this weekend because it’s kind of full circle,” Gasso said Wednesday. “They caught us in our second weekend. It’s always exciting to see the growth you’ve made during that time span. I think that’s what this team is anxious to show, is that we’re quite a different-looking team from back then.”

Oklahoma rebounded by playing excellent softball in every area of the game.

OU paces the country in batting average (.380), team ERA (0.90) and fielding percentage (.988), but the Bears have also impressed since the early meeting.

Baylor enters the weekend 34-10 overall, checking in as the No. 16-ranked team in the country with a pair of wins over No. 4 Tennessee freshly in the rearview.

Right-hander Dariana Orme, who picked up the victory over the Sooners in the circle, has continued her strong year.

Orme is 31st in the nation with a 1.49 ERA, leading the charge for Baylor’s pitching staff.

At the plate, the Bears are hitting .305 as a team, which ranks No. 34 nationally.


“Glenn Moore is very aggressive,” Gasso said, “and when you’re looking at their numbers, you go, ‘Well, they don’t have a ton of home runs.’ They have a couple of (players) who have half their home runs.’ But they’re very aggressive baserunners.

“They create a little bit of havoc. They make you have to play good defense. … (Last weekend) they out-swung Texas Tech, who’s a big-hitting team, and won two of three there. So they’re good. I’m telling you, the Big 12 title is gonna have to go through Baylor for us. We’re gonna have to play well.”

On paper, the Sooners should have the pitching to slow Baylor down.

OU’s top three pitchers, Jordy Bahl, Alex Storako and Nicole May, were all named alongside teammates Jayda Coleman and Tiare Jennings as top 25 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the year award on Wednesday.

The pitching staff will need run support as well, and the Oklahoma lineup is coming off a strong weekend in Ohio.

Dropping the early contest to the Bears was a wakeup call for the entire team, but catcher Kinzie Hansen thinks it helped the offense make adjustments to get the right mental approach for the rest of the season.

“Nobody’s going to go undefeated,” she said on Wednesday. “I think we needed it personally. Not that you want that to happen, but it was sort of that push to kind of (say) 'Hey, you have things to work on, let’s do it now before it’s too late.'

“… And I think that growth — I don’t remember the date (of the loss) exactly. But if you look at us as a team of 20 on that day versus a team of 20 now, it’s a completely different team. So I’m really excited to see us step onto that field in that space in that presence as opposed to the comparison of the last time we played them.”

Oklahoma’s first chance to avenge its only loss will come Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Waco.

The Sooners then meet the Bears at Getterman Stadium again on Saturday at 2 p.m. before closing the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. All games this weekend will be broadcast on ESPN+.

“What we’re really focusing on is trying to win a conference championship,” Gasso said. “It has to go through Waco. And it has to go through Stillwater. We cannot have hiccups.

“We have to really go in and attack and grind. Pitchers have to throw well. All parts of your game have to work. Can’t be our pitching and defense holding it down anymore. I think our offense had a good time last weekend. They’re ready. They’re anxious. They’re very excited about it.”

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