NORMAN — The Oklahoma softball team spent the early part of this season figuring out its post-Keilani Ricketts identity, and as a result, lost its first two games and three of its first 10.
Not exactly the start most expected out of the defending national champion.
“There was a lot of learning going on,” admitted OU coach Patty Gasso.
The Sooners were then dealt a severe blow with junior first baseman Lauren Chamberlain’s back injury that has caused her to miss the past nine games, and will likely keep her sidelined until at least early May. Still, OU began Big 12 play with a dominant three-game sweep of Iowa State last weekend and enters Wednesday’s evening’s home game against Bedlam rival Oklahoma State on a six-game winning streak.
“The beauty of the Big 12 is saying, ‘OK, you have no batting average, you have no ERA. You have no stats whatsoever,’” Gasso said.
Chamberlain was hitting .316 for the season with six home runs and 16 RBIs before her injury. She is a two-time All-American and team captain who was instrumental in the Sooners’ 2013 national title.
Oklahoma (24-8, 3-0 Big 12) prides itself as a program on not being about any one player, said senior outfielder Destinee Martinez.