The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

May 12, 2014

Sooners won’t have to leave state to defend their national championship

NORMAN — The bracket is in, and the Sooners won’t have to leave the state to defend their national championship.

Oklahoma drew the No. 7 seed in the NCAA softball tournament, guaranteeing them the right to host both the regional and the super regional when the postseason opens on Friday. The top eight seeds in the tournament earned the right a super regional provided they win their regional.

Entering the weekend OU (45-10) stood at No. 8 in the latest edition of college softball’s RPI, but while other teams were playing in conference tournament the Sooners wrapped up the regular season with a sub-500 opponent in Oklahoma State. That led to some question as to whether or not the Sooners would earn a top-eight seed.

After OU’s run-rule victory over the Cowgirls, coach Patty Gasso said she thought the defending national champions deserved some love from the committee, and they received it with the No. 7 seed. The Sooners will open the tournament with a 7:30 p.m. Friday against Bryant (32-20), which is making its first-ever tournament apperance, while Hofstra (33-13) will meet Texas A&M (35-20). Provided the seeds hold, the Sooners would meet No. 10 Tennessee, last year’s opponent in the national championship game, in the Super Regional in Norman.

The Sooners were ecstatic with the seed, and Gasso was pleased with where her team, which has won 27 of its last 29 games, is entering the postseason.

“It’s been really phenomenal to watch the growth of this team,” Gasso told ESPNU during a call-in to Sunday night’s selection show. “If you saw us in February you wouldn’t expect us to be where we are right now.”

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