The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

February 14, 2014

Sooners set for even tougher opposition

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s season didn’t begin exactly the way the Sooners wanted, but they’ll get a chance to change things when they play another slate of games at the Littlewood Classic in Phoenix.

The Sooners dropped their first two games to open the season last weekend before rallying to win the final three games of the weekend, including a narrow 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh in the final game. The 3-2 start dropped OU to No. 11 in the coaches poll from No. 2 in the first edition of the rankings.

Things don’t get any easier for OU this weekend. The Sooners will face third-ranked Washington and fifth-ranked Arizona State at the tournament, with Arizona State coming as the second game in a double-header that begins at 4:45 p.m. today against Illinois State. The Sooners will play another pair of games on Saturday, with SIU-Edwardsville followed by Washington before wrapping up the weekend with a 2:30 p.m. game on Sunday against Michigan State.

It’s a tough challenge for a Sooners team that unexpectedly struggled on offense against tough competition last weekend. They scored just seven runs in 24 innings in losses to 12th-ranked Kentucky and Cal-State Fullerton and a win over Pittsburgh.

Washington and Arizona State both were dominant last weekend, with Washington outscoring its five opponents 39-8 in five victories while Arizona State got off to a perfect 6-0 start with five of those six wins coming by at least seven runs.

One area that was encouraging for the Sooners was the pitching staff that is grouping to fill the void left by departed seniors Keilani Ricketts and Michelle Gascoigne. Led by sophomore transfer Kelsey Stevens, who is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.62, the group hasn’t allowed more than five runs and finished the weekend by holdings its last three opponents to one run apiece.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Koonce seals OT win for NHS

    Norman High soccer coach Tyler Hardage said it this way: “It’s fun when stuff like that happens.” So it was....

    April 23, 2014

  • NHS boys put on a clinic, while North squads top U.S. Grant

    The Norman High boys continue to play terrific defense and did again Tuesday night, posting their fourth straight shutout, their fifth in sixth games and their seventh of the season. But if that’s vintage Tigers, the other side of NHS’ ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Memphis bears down on Oklahoma City

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Memphis wanted to play its game. After allowing Oklahoma CIty to pour in 100 points in Game 1, they knew they had to take some steam out of the Thunder if they stood a chance of coming away with a win on the road....

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Looking forward to the playoffs

    The road to the title is shifting into high gear. Postseason assignments for several sports were released this week by the OSSAA, and a number of area teams now know the path they’ll take in the playoffs. In softball, Norman High and ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Thunder not interested in excuses, just taking care of business

    Russell Westbrook tried to take all the blame. After Oklahoma watched a 25 point lead dwindle to two points against Memphis, the talented point guard said it was due to his erratic play in the third quarter. “It’s on me, man. I’ve got to ...

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Thunder withstand Grizz charge to take Game 1

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Style points don’t matter in the NBA playoffs. It’s all about getting wins and moving on. So, despite watching a huge lead dwindle down to a single basket, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks is pleased his team was able to ...

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pistons Thunder Basketball Thunder set to take on unlikely rival in Memphis

    It’s become an unlikely rivalry. There is no reason for Oklahoma City and Memphis to have an ongoing feud, except that they do and the numbers seem to bear it out....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • T-Wolves take over late

    EDMOND — Had it ended the way it looked like it was going to end, Norman North boys coach Geo Claros was prepared not to be too upset. He liked the way his team was staying after it, even if he didn’t like how it continued a season-long ...

    April 18, 2014