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Patty Gasso Confident in a Strong Response Following Oklahoma's Bedlam Defeat

Playing without true freshman Jordy Bahl, the Sooners suffered just their second defeat of the season this weekend.

Oklahoma is rolling into Selection Sunday in an unexpected manner.

After sweeping Oklahoma State last weekend to secure the Big 12 regular season title, the No. 1-ranked Sooners were stunned by the Cowgirls at Hall of Fame Stadium in the Big 12 Championship on Saturday.

Sans freshman phenom Jordy Bahl, Hope Trautwein and Nicole May held the Cowgirl offense to just four runs.

But outstanding performances from OSU pitchers Kelly Maxwell and Morgan Day kept the Sooner hitters on their heels.

Everything unraveled in the top of the eighth inning when a leadoff single by Miranda Elish was followed by back to back walks by Trautwein, loading the bases with no outs.

May returned and limited the damage, but not before she walked in a run to give the Cowgirls a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

OU head coach Patty Gasso said she wasn’t happy with the approach at the plate from her offense late in the game, but credited Day for keeping her team at bay for five innings.

“I felt we were trying to be heroic,” Gasso said after the loss on Saturday. “Felt like our swings were trying to get too big. Saw a lot of fly balls today, which is something we need to change."

Though Oklahoma returned to Norman without some extra hardware, the Sooners are still in a great position as the NCAA Tournament approaches. 

Headed into the Big 12 Tournament, OU led the nation in RPI. Virginia Tech and Florida State were second and third behind OU, but it’s unlikely that Oklahoma will be jumped in that metric, which the selection committee relies so heavily on.

The No. 1-overall seed for the NCAA Tournament will likely still land with the Sooners later this afternoon, meaning OU will not only stay basically at home for the rest of the season, but they should have the easiest path on paper back to Oklahoma City.

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Oklahoma doesn’t have much experience rebounding from losses this season, but the Sooners’ loss to Texas earlier this season was followed by some of the best softball OU had played all year long.

“This team is not happy with the defeat,” Gasso said. “And that is something that they always seem to bounce back even stronger, usually. They did that with Texas and I’m sure they’ve felt it.

“… They’re used to and wanting to always win championships. So when someone takes it from the, they don’t like it. And they respond.”

Gasso’s team reeled off 11 straight wins, including four run rules and the Bedlam sweep.

Now, all the attention will turn to the health of Bahl.

Gasso maintained that the standout freshman was battling through some soreness, and she said the team is waiting on the doctors to would further clarity on a timetable for her return.

“We’re just kind of leaving it alone and taking it day by day,” Gasso said. “We will know by net week where she’s at, but we’re just really not even picking up the ball or circling anything right now. Just kind of waiting to see from doctors when it’s time to check and see where we’re at.”

Oklahoma may not need Bahl until the Super Regionals, but Gasso will want all hands on deck to ensure her team is firing on all cylinders headed into the NCAA Tournament.

The Sooners will learn their fate Sunday evening, as the softball selection show will start at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.


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