OU softball: More bad news for All Sports Association
First, Oklahoma State’s baseball team somehow fails to qualify for the eight-team Big 12 Tournament, a difficult task in a 10-team conference.
Now, OU’s softball team, given a home-field path to the Women’s College World Series, has failed to even make it to the regional finals. The Sooners lost to North Dakota State and Tulsa on Saturday and will miss the World Series for the fifth straight year after qualifying for five straight WCWS events.
That is bad news for the Oklahoma City All Sports Association, which does a tremendous job promoting sports in OKC. The World Series will be fine — the college softball national championship brings in enough tourists to make Hall of Fame Stadium a hopping place — but the presence of the Sooners would have guaranteed overflow and perhaps record-setting crowds.
For some reason, Patty Gasso’s OU program is in a funk. College softball is a top-heavy sport. The better seeds and the home teams almost always win. Yet the Sooners, for the second time in three years, have been eliminated on their own campus. OU was given a golden path — a home regional, with no traditional power sent to Norman, followed by a Super Regional home berth.
That five-year run in the World Series, ignited by the 2000 NCAA championship, was a huge spark to softball interest in Oklahoma. But this five-year drought by the Sooners signals that OU’s program is not among the national elite.
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