OU Softball: Oklahoma Will 'Know How' to Harness 'Outrageous' Bedlam Atmosphere With Big 12 Title on the Line

The No. 2-ranked Sooners take on the No. 4-ranked Cowgirls at Love's Field this weekend in a bid to win OU's 12th-straight Big 12 regular season title.

NORMAN — A champion will be crowned, one way or another, in Norman this weekend. 

It’s not the ultimate goal. Both No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 4 Oklahoma State want to end the season lifting a trophy in Oklahoma City, but that trek begins in full at Love’s Field on Friday night. 

Patty Gasso’s Sooners will finally meet Kenny Gajewski’s Cowgirls, for the final time as conference foes, with the Big 12 regular season title on the line.

OU, with a one-game lead in the standings on No. 1 Texas and a two-games advantage on OSU, hopes to ring in senior weekend with the program’s 12th-straight regular season crown. 

The Sooners are 45-4 overall and 21-3 in league play this year, but the wins haven’t always looked up to Oklahoma and Gasso’s lofty standards. 

But with 10 seniors in tow, including five that have won three-straight national titles in Norman, the roster has plenty of experience rising to the occasion. 

“They know how to do it,” Gasso said of her team flipping the switch to play their best softball in May and June on Tuesday. “… I think they have put in more hours as of late on their own to get what they want, because we’re gonna get what we’re supposed to get. It has a lot to do with the work ethic and what you’re doing on your own, things like that.”

How to Watch No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 4 Oklahoma State:

Game 1: Friday, 6:30 p.m., FS1
Game 2: Saturday, 12 p.m., ESPN
Game 3: Sunday, 3 p.m., ESPN2

Oklahoma got punched in the mouth earlier this season. 

The Sooners lost their first Big 12 series in over a decade when the Longhorns took two of three off their Red River Rivals in Austin last month. Not only did Texas’ series victory keep the standings tight at the top, but it’ll give the Sooners an edge to ensure they don’t suffer the same fate against an excellent Oklahoma State team. 

“I know that we’ve been doing that preparation for what’s coming ahead,” Gasso said, “and this is what they’ve been waiting for. This is their most enjoyable time of the season, is postseason… I’m feeling really good about where we’re at.”

Over the course of the weekend, OU will celebrate the final home regular season series for Tiare Jennings, Jayda Coleman, Kinzie Hansen, Rylie Boone, Nicole May, Alyssa Brito, Kelly Maxwell, Alynah Torres, Riley Ludlam and Karlie Keeney

Sunday will mean a little extra for those seniors, but it won’t be the last time they play at Love’s Field. OU will host an NCAA Regional and Super Regional play after that should the Sooners roll through the tournament, allowing Oklahoma to focus purely on the task at hand. 

It won’t be the last Bedlam, either. Gasso announced Tuesday that there is an agreement to continue to the series in 2025, suppressing the finality of this weekend’s series. 

But Maxwell will still take the field against her former team for the first time, the culmination of her dramatic offseason Bedlam switch. 

Gasso backs her ace to put on the same performances she has all year, steady and dominant at-times, leading the Sooners to Game 1 victories in every series this year. 

“She has really grown so much since she’s been here,” Gasso said. “She has not looked in the rearview mirror.

“… She’s the most professional-style pitcher. She’s a solid young lady, very mature and professional and intelligent. There’s a lot of wonderful things about her. That will be celebrated this weekend. We haven’t talked about it… She’s just looking forward.”

Maxwell won’t be alone in the circle. 

May has a wealth of experience in big Bedlam moments, and OU left-hander Kierston Deal has notched back-to-back Big 12 Pitcher of the Week awards as she continues to improve throughout her sophomore campaign. 

“I'm just really proud of her and her approach to the game,” Hansen, Deal’s catcher, said. “… This weekend is a big test for her but I'm really excited because she has grown into a woman on the field and being able to kind of step into her own. I love working with her because when I go out to the mound, I don't really have much to say because we have developed that bond… so just really proud of her from the past going forward.”

The Oklahoma State (42-8, 19-5) pitching staff is deep as well. 

Lexi Kilfoyl leads the way with a 1.16 ERA, and Ivy Rosenberry has elevated into the No. 2 role with a 1.60 ERA this season. Kyra Aycock, who frustrated the OU lineup in her Bedlam start last year, has a 3.17 ERA on the year, but she’ll have plenty of confidence building off her 2023 performance against the Sooners. 

The lineup is dangerous as well, as the Cowgirls will have enough power to go toe-to-toe with OU’s bats. 

Liberty transfer Caroline Wang has blasted 16 home runs to lead the Cowgirls, and OSU has hit 74 bombs as a team with a .310 batting average on the year. 

“They’ve got an exciting style, like an aggressive style,” Gasso said. “Good hitters. Good baserunners. Their numbers look really good across the board. So they’re ranked high for a reason.”

Last weekend, Gasso said she liked the energy of her team in OU’s sweep of UCF.

With a capacity crowd for veterans like Jennings, Coleman, Brito and Hansen to feed off of, she hopes her team will continue to round into postseason form and win the first trophy of the season with a series victory. 

“I’m expecting an outrageous, chaotic atmosphere,” Gasso said. “That’s what we’re hoping for. Sooner fans come for this. They’re gonna be as ready as we are to play.”

Bedlam will open at Love’s Field at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, and the game will be broadcast on FS1.

Ryan Chapman


Ryan is deputy editor at AllSooners and covers a number of sports in and around Norman and Oklahoma City. Working both as a journalist and a sports talk radio host, Ryan has covered the Oklahoma Sooners, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, the Oklahoma City Energy and more. Since 2019, Ryan has simultaneously pursued a career as both a writer and a sports talk radio host, working for the Flagship for Oklahoma sports, 107.7 The Franchise, as well as AllSooners.com. Ryan serves as a contributor to The Franchise’s website, TheFranchiseOK.com, which was recognized as having the “Best Website” in 2022 by the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. Ryan holds an associate’s degree in Journalism from Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City, OK.