Photo credit Josh Gateley/OU Athletics
The 2021 Big 12 softball championship is set to get underway today with the top-ranked Sooners defending their regular season crown as well as their postseason reign that goes all the way back to 2010. Now, to be fair, the Big 12 didn’t have a postseason tournament from 2011 to 2016 and the 2019 and 2020 tournaments were canceled due to weather and the coronavirus pandemic. That said though, the conference hasn’t had a postseason champion not named Oklahoma since 2009 (Missouri) and no other current member of the conference has won it since 2006 (Kansas).
Oklahoma At The Big 12 Championship
The Sooners are tied with current conference members Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech with 18 Big 12 Championship Tournament appearances. OU has a league best six tournament titles.
How To Watch
- The Sooners start pool play Friday with fourth-seeded Baylor at 2 p.m. (CT) before a 7:30 p.m. matchup with six seed Texas Tech. The winners of each pool will face off in the championship game Saturday at 3 p.m.
- OU’s first two games of the weekend will be shown on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ while the conference championship game will air on ESPN2. All the action can be heard on The Franchise 2 (103.3 FM, 1560 AM) in Oklahoma and nationwide on the TuneIn app.
Sooners’ Run Through The Big 12
- Oklahoma collected its ninth straight regular season conference crown with a series victory over No. 7/9
Oklahoma State in Stillwater last weekend.
- The Sooners finished the Big 12 regular season 16-1. With sweeps of Iowa State (March 26-28) in Ames, Kansas (April 1-3), No. 7/8 Texas (April 16-18) and Texas Tech (April 24-25) in Norman and taking both games from Baylor in a two-game set on April 27.
- OU is undefeated in its last 60 conference series (56-0-4 in that span) and have not lost a conference series since 2011.
- Oklahoma has finished first in the Big 12 over the past nine seasons with a combined record of 144-14. Prior to this current run of nine straight regular season titles, no team had ever won more than two consecutive.
- Overall, the Sooners have 19 Big 12 titles with 13 regular season crowns and six Big 12 tournament championships, all under head coach Patty Gasso.
- Two-seed Oklahoma State comes in to the championship after dropping its regular season series finale to OU. The Cowgirls are 40-8 overall and 15-3 in conference play.
- Three-seed Texas enters this weekend 38-9 overall and 12-6 in conference play. Most recently, the Longhorns swept Baylor.
- Four-seed Baylor is 27-18 on the year and 8-9 in the Big 12. Baylor comes to the tourney after getting swept by Texas.
- Fifth-seeded Iowa State comes to OKC 31-19 and 6-12 in conference. The Cyclones swept Kansas, May 7-9, in
- Six-seed Texas Tech is 19-25 overall and 3-15 in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders were off the final weekend of the regular season, most recently taking one of three games from Iowa State in Lubbock.
- The Sooners broke the program record for home runs in a season last weekend in Stillwater, launching four more to bring the season total to 120, passing the 2019 team’s 115. The 2021 squad hit the program mark in 23 less games.
- The 2021 Oklahoma Softball team has set the program record for most run-rule victories in a season with 30, surpassing the 2019 and 2013 teams who recorded 25 each.
- The 2021 team currently holds the single-season program record for runs scored (498) batting average (.420), on-base percentage (.507) and slugging (.799).
- Senior Jocelyn Alo (80 career HRs) is 15 homers shy of the program and NCAA record 95 that 2015 OU grad Lauren Chamberlain hit throughout her career.
- Alo (26 HRs) and freshman Tiare Jennings (23) are quickly approaching the single-season program record for home runs (30) set in 2018 by Alo herself and 2012 and 2013 by Lauren Chamberlain.
- Freshman Tiare Jennings is seven home runs short of tying and eight away from breaking the NCAA freshman single-season home run record of 30, hit in 2012 by Chamberlain and 2018 by Alo.
- Oklahoma set an NCAA single-game home run record with 13 in the season opener versus UTEP, a 29-0 (5 inn.) run-rule victory. The team tied the NCAA record for homers in an inning with five in the first and fifth innings of
- Freshman Tiare Jennings and junior Grace Lyons tied the school record for home runs in a game with three a
piece against the Miners in the season opener.
- The fourth inning of OU’s game three vs. Texas Tech (4/25) marked the most runs scored in an inning in program history and tied for the second most in NCAA history, second only to College of Charleston’s 29 on Feb. 11, 2004 (2nd inn.) vs. Savannah State and sharing the mark with Canisius’ 18 mark on May 1, 1985 (2nd inn.) vs. Roberts Wesleyan.
- Oklahoma registered a program-best 28 hits in its 33-4 victory over New Mexico on Feb. 27 in Phoenix.
- Oklahoma holds the top two run single-game run totals of 2021 with 33 in its victory over New Mexico Feb. 27 and 29 in its season opener over UTEP.
Inside The Numbers
- Oklahoma’s offense leads the country in every major offensive category:
• Home runs: 120 (29 better than 2nd-place Arizona State’s 91)
• Home runs per game: 2.73 avg.
• Batting average: .420
• On base percentage: .507
• Slugging percentage: .799
• Runs: 498 (11.32 per game avg.)
- OU is outscoring opponents 498-74 on the season, scoring an average of 11.32 runs per game to opponents 1.68 clip.
- Oklahoma has won by run rule in 30 of its 44 games.
- OU has scored 10-plus runs in one inning six times in 2021.
- 13 Sooners have hit a home run this season, with 11 players blasting at least two.
- The Sooners hold three of the top six individual batting averages in the country out of players with at least 100 at bats:
• 2nd – Jayda Coleman – .500
• 4th – Jocelyn Alo – .481
• 6th – Tiare Jennings – .468
- Two of the top three home run hitters in the country reside in Norman, including the nation’s leader.
• 1st – Alo: 26
• 3rd – Jennings: 23
- As a team, OU has hit at least one home run in 41 of its 44 games this season and has hit at least two in 35 of the 44 games.
- Oklahoma has hit two-plus home runs in one inning 26 times this season, including three or more seven times and four-plus in one inning four times.
- The Sooners have hit back-to-back home runs 12 times in 2021 and back-to-back-to-back homers three times.
- The Oklahoma defense holds first in the country out of teams that have played at least five games with a .987 fielding percentage and has committed just 13 errors on the season.
- OU’s pitching staff leads the country with 21 shutouts. The staff ranks 11th with a 1.75 ERA.
Big 12 Championship Schedule
• Pool A
• No. 4 Baylor vs. No. 6 Texas Tech – Friday at 11 a.m. (CT)
• No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 4 Baylor – Friday at 2 p.m. (CT)
• No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 6 Texas Tech – Friday at 7:30 p.m. (CT)
• Pool B
• No. 2 Oklahoma State vs. No. 3 Texas – Friday at 11 a.m. (CT)
• No. 3 Texas vs. No. 5 Iowa State – Friday at 2 p.m. (CT)
• No. 2 Oklahoma State vs. No. 5 Iowa State – Friday at 5 p.m. (CT)
• Pool A 3rd Place vs. Pool B 3rd Place – 10:30 a.m. (CT)
• Pool A 2nd Place vs. Pool B 2nd Place – 10:30 a.m. (CT)
• Pool A 1st Place vs. Pool B 1st Place – 3 p.m. (CT)
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