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Why Oklahoma Coach Patty Gasso Isn't Worried About Future of Bedlam Series

The OU coach said she's currently focused on getting her 2024 schedule lined out, and she hasn't even begun to assemble her conference slate after moving to the SEC.

Bedlam softball returns this weekend, and with it brings the dialogue about the series’ future.

The top-ranked Sooners will head to Stillwater for three games, which represent OU’s last three contests at Cowgirl Stadium on the books in the near future.

It is expected that Oklahoma State will make the return trip in Big 12 play next year, as the teams will square off for the final time as conference foes.

Tuesday, Cowgirls head coach Kenny Gajewski indicated the ball was in OU’s court to continue to series.

“I tried to tell them that we want to play but I don’t have very good luck getting responses,” he said. “I’m pretty open that we want to play…. I think it would be good for both teams.”

For OU coach Patty Gasso, those calls haven’t landed on her phone.

“I've never been called and asked to play,” Gasso said on Wednesday. “It's never even been discussed.”

Looking ahead to the 2025 season isn’t Gasso’s priority right now, as the ink hasn’t even dried on the bulk of Oklahoma’s 2024 softball schedule.

“I haven't even gotten halfway through my 2024 schedule, so it's not on my mind whatsoever,” she said. "I’m assuming that our athletic director will have some input on it.

“… I am not worried about it. When there is the right time for me to even think about it, I will. No one's afraid to play anyone else, anything like that.”

Not only will the move to the SEC represent a step up in competition week-in and week-out, the scheduling dynamics will be different than what OU is accustomed to in the Big 12.

Thirteen of the 14 current SEC members field softball teams, with only Vanderbilt lacking a program.

That number will move to 15 schools who play softball with Oklahoma and Texas’ arrival, compared to the seven teams in the current Big 12 who compete on the diamond.

Right off the top, the number of weekends booked up by conference play will shift when moving from the Big 12 to the SEC, and that’s just one hurdle.

“I have to understand the dynamics of what we're walking into and what makes sense,” Gasso said. “… It's completely new to me. My whole life here I've been begging people to play us. And now it's like I've got an army ready to come get us. So I've got to figure out how that plays out and all that.”

Different models for continuing Bedlam have been thrown around.

Oklahoma has become accustomed to traveling sizable distances to get midweek contests in over the past few seasons.

In 2021, Gasso took her team to Athens to take on Georgia.

Last year, OU made midweek trip to play at Kentucky, and the Sooners traveled to Baton Rouge earlier in 2023 to square off against LSU.

Fitting in a trip to Stillwater and bringing the Cowgirls to Norman would represent less of a logistical challenge for each school.

There could also be a series split between Norman, Stillwater and Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, a format the programs were familiar with prior to a scheduling shift in 2021.

“I mean, there was a time when we were doing a home, Hall of Fame and home,” Gasso said. “And that was not changed by me. So that made a lot of sense.”

Simply put, the fate of Bedlam softball will be sorted out in the future.

For now, Gasso is focused on finishing the 2023 season on a high and then getting her program ready for 2024 and the new frontier of the SEC.

“First and foremost I'm gonna take care of our team and what's best for us,” she said. “But our athletic director maybe having something else on his mind. I don't know. But we'll come to that road when it's time.

“… If I'm going to be honest, it's not even on my plate right now. There's so many other things I'm going to worry about like going into the SEC. Yeah, that's a whole another animal that I'm looking forward to.

“But scheduling-wise, I'm just trying to work on 2024. But if it works right we're in. We're in. There's no, 'Oh gosh we don't want to.' It's just … does it make sense.”

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