OKLAHOMA CITY — All it took was 16 years. All it took was 16 years and four more days at Bricktown Ballpark.
All it took was 16 years and four days at Bricktown Ballpark and two terrific pitching performances, one gutty-as-all-get-out win and one day of fantastic defense and the resurgent bat of Matt Oberste.
All it took was everything coming together, on the diamond, and maybe amidst the destruction a few miles south, too, for Oklahoma to claim in its first Big 12 baseball tournament championship since 1997, year of the very first Big 12 baseball tournament.
For the last several days, Oklahomans have been showing the world what they’re made of, how well they work together, how they refuse to be deterred, how, really, a whole bunch of things, far too many to list.
And so, simultaneously, it has played out on the diamonds big and small, at Marita Hynes Field, where OU’s softball team punched its Women’s College World Series ticket, getting past Texas A&M in two run-rule victories to remain on schedule toward its first national championship since 2000, as well as Brickdown Ballpark, where Sunny Golloway’s baseball team did what the past 15 bands of Sooners couldn’t do, finally yet again finishing atop the conference heap by topping Kansas 7-2.
It’s the story that keeps on giving, day after day.
Both teams have been very affected by what’s happened to so many of their neighbors and fans, so many of whom you can see wearing Sooner garb when television cameras catch them cleaning up among the destruction.
Both teams have been a part of the relief effort. Both sets of Sooners have the sense they’re playing for a cause bigger than themselves. Both have delivered in a very big way.
Sunday, it was baseball’s turn, in front of a fine crowd of almost 6,000, probably 4,500 of them in crimson or cream, who watched the OU play defense like its hair was on fire.