The No. 8 Oklahoma softball team has been in the state of Oklahoma the last two weeks and will now hit the road for a contest against No. 18 Fresno State on Thursday followed by the Capital Classic in Sacramento (March 14-16). The Sooners will first head to Fresno, Calif., on Thursday to take on No. 18 Fresno State at 7 p.m. Oklahoma time.
Following its Fresno State game, the Sooners will jump on the bus and head to Sacramento. The Sooners will open tournament action with a 12 p.m. (CT) contest against Cal Poly on Friday followed by a 5 p.m. meeting against Colorado State. On Saturday, Oklahoma will face Sacramento State (12 p.m.) and California (2:30 p.m.). The Sooners will round out tournament action on Sunday with an 11 a.m. meeting against Princeton.
Live stats for all of OU’s games will be available at SoonerSports.com.
Oklahoma will return to the OU Softball Complex as it hosts Missouri State at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19. The Sooners will follow that with its Big 12 opener at the OU Softball Complex. Oklahoma will host the Kansas series March 21-22. The Sooners will play Kansas at 7 p.m. on Friday followed by a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday.
SOONERS MOVE TO NO. 8 IN USA SOFTBALL POLL, REMAIN AT NO. 11 IN NFCA POLL
The Sooners improved to No. 8 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll and remained at No. 11 in the USA Today/NFCA Poll. Last week the Sooners were No. 9 in the ESPN.com poll and No. 11 in the USA Today poll.
OU AND ARIZONA ONLY TWO SCHOOLS TO BE RANKED IN NFCA POLL ITS ENTIRE EXISTENCE
The Sooners have been ranked in the top 25 of every NFCA poll since its inception, which spans 176 weeks long. OU and Arizona are the only programs to be ranked in the NFCA Top-25 every week of its existence.
RICKETTS MOVES UP TO NO. 5
Junior Samantha Ricketts has caught fire in the last two weeks and has hit five home runs in the last nine games. Prior to that, Ricketts hadn’t hit a home run yet this season. The 2007 second team All-American is quickly moving up the OU career list for home runs as she is now No. 5 on the list with 32 home runs.
After hitting 20 home runs in the last two weeks, the Sooners are establishing themselves as one of the power teams of the Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma currently leads the league in home runs (37), slugging percentage (.550), on-base percentage (.419) and RBI (149).
SMITH PERFECT IN RELIEF
Senior pitcher Jadyn Smith only owns a 2-1 record but has been solid in relief work for the Sooners this season in seven appearances. Smith posts a team-best 0.31 ERA and is even better in relief situations as she owns a perfect 0.00 ERA when not starting. She has thrown 15 innings of relief and owns 14 strikeouts during that time. She also picked up a win against Pacific in relief effort.
Senior Savannah Long is off to a hot start for her final season as she owns a team-best .375 batting average through 26 games this season. In addition, the shortstop has been one of the team’s top power hitters as she owns a .750 slugging percentage and leads the Big 12 with nine doubles and also owns six home runs.
Head coach Patty Gasso often refers to sophomore left fielder Amber Flores as “little Manny Ramirez.” The 5-4 sophomore put up strong numbers as a freshman and is producing Ramirez-esque numbers at the start of the 2008 season. Through 26 games this season, Flores owns a team-best 26 RBI and owns a .368 batting average as well as a .809 slugging percentage (eight homers, four doubles, one triple). Flores’ eight home runs this season ranks second among All Big 12 players.