Oklahoma is making it’s fifth consecutive, and fourteenth overall, appearance at the Women’s College World Series in a quest for national title number five. Here’s what you’re going to want to know.
How To Watch Thursday’s Game
The Sooners will open up the WCWS playing against James Madison at 11:00 (CT) on Thursday morning. You can watch the game on ESPN or listen on 107.7 (The Franchise) in Oklahoma City. The game will also be broadcast on SiriusXM channel 84.
Home Away From Home
Oklahoma has qualified for nine of the last ten Women’s College World Series and no other program has made more trips to OKC than the Sooners have since 2011.
OUs 14 appearances at the WCWS are tied with Washington for the third most all-time. Only UCLA (30) and Arizona (24) have more appearances.
With four national titles (2000, ‘13, ‘16, ‘17) Oklahoma trails only UCLA (12) and Arizona (8) for most in NCAA history, and no other team has more than two.
OU is 7-0 at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium this year, defeating Houston, Kansas City and Liberty (twice) in the Hall of Fame Classic, March 12-14 prior to winning three games at the Big 12 Softball Championship (Baylor, Texas Tech, OSU). Oklahoma has won 33 of its last 39 games there.
The James Madison Dukes
Thursday’s meeting will be the first between James Madison and Oklahoma.
The Dukes hold a 5-1 record in the NCAA Tournament, with their only loss coming at the Columbia Super Regional to Missouri last Saturday by a score of 7-1.
JMU is lead by two-way player Odicci Alexander. The redshirt senior has thrown 117.0 innings on the year and holds a 2.09 ERA. She has powered the Dukes through the postseason, striking out 48 total batters in the regional and super regional with 37 and a third innings pitched.
The Rest Of The Field
The Sooners and Crimson Tide have met 12 times in the postseason, most recently facing off three times in the 2019 Women’s College World Series with OU taking two of the three games. After a 3-2 OU win in the team’s opening game at the World Series, Bama advanced out of the losers bracket to beat OU once before OU turned around in the second game of the doubleheader to beat the Tide and advance to the Championship Series.
The Wildcats hold a 20-29 advantage all-time over the Sooners. OU took the last matchup in Tucson in 2020, a 6-4 OU win in 10 innings. The programs have not met at the World Series since 2002.
The Seminoles hold just a 7-6 all-time lead over OU with the last meeting coming in 2019 at the St. Pete/Clearwater Invitation, a 7-4 FSU win. The programs have never met at the WCWS.
One of OU’s two losses in 2021 came in Athens in the ﬁrst game of a doubleheader April 20. UGA handed Oklahoma it’s ﬁrst loss of the season and ended the Sooners 40-game win streak with a 7-6 win in nine innings. The two programs have never met in the World Series.
Bedlam for the second consecutive WCWS is a possibility if both the Sooners and Cowgirls win their respective games on Thursday (OSU vs. Georgia). The Sooners lead the all-time series with Oklahoma State with an 96-71 record. The Sooners have more wins over the Cowgirls than any other team in program history and head coach Patty Gasso has more wins vs. OSU than any other team with 67. OU has won 29 of the past 31 matchups against the Pokes.
The Sooners and Bruins met in the 2019 WCWS Championship Series with the Bruins claiming the title in two games over the Sooners. Oklahoma trails the all-time series with the Bruins with four wins to 11 losses.
Simply The Best
Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo was named the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year on Tuesday evening.
She collects OU’s third USA Softball Player of the Year Award, joining Keilani Ricketts (2012, ’13) as the only Sooners to win it. Alo, the Big 12 Player of the Year and First Team All-Big 12 and All-Region selection, has paced the Oklahoma offense in 2021, holding the nation’s lead in home runs (30) and slugging percentage (1.135) and ranks second in RBIs (82) and fourth in batting average (.487). Her 30 home runs entering the World Series is tied for the program record she set herself in 2018, along with Lauren Chamberlain in 2012 and ’13.
Alo has homered in 28 of OU’s 52 games, including two grand slams and two multi-home run games. She is averaging 0.58 home runs per game and a home run ever 5.2 at-bats. The Hauula, Hawaii, native has registered a hit in 47 of OU’s 52 games. She went on a program record 40-game hit streak dating from Feb. 21, 2020 to April 3, 2021. The streak was just three games shy of the all-time NCAA record.
Tuesday marked the ﬁrst time in the history of the two awards that one program has swept both national honors with freshman Tiare Jennings winning NFCA/Schutt Sports DI Freshman of the Year.
Jennings is OU’s third NFCA Freshman of the Year honor, joining Paige Parker in 2015 and Alo in 2018. A Sooner has won three times in the seven-year history of the award.
Also the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Jennings has hit 25 home runs to go with 84 RBIs in her ﬁrst-year campaign. Her RBI mark leads in the nation and she’s tied for second in the country for home runs, just ﬁve behind Alo who has 30.
Jennings has homered in 21 of OU’s 52 games and hit multiple homers in a game three times, beginning with the season opener at UTEP where she tied a single-game program record with three home runs in her ﬁrst collegiate game.
She has started every game of the season at second or third base and holds a .972 ﬁelding percentage with 55 putouts and 48 assists to just three errors.
Oklahoma freshman Jayda Coleman was also a ﬁnalist for NFCA Freshman of the Year. OU is one of two programs in the award’s history with two of the three ﬁnalists for the award, joining Florida’s Amanda Lorenz (winner) and Kelly Barnhill in 2016. The third ﬁnalist for this season’s honor was Clemson’s Valerie Cagle.
Inside The Numbers
Oklahoma’s offense leads the country in every major category:
• Home runs: 146 (43 better than 2nd-place Wichita State’s 103). The Sooners and Shockers are the only programs with 100+ HRs in 2021.
• Home runs per game: 2.81 avg.
• Batting average: .421
• On base percentage: .507
• Slugging percentage: .809
• Runs: 576 (11.52 per game avg.)
OU is outscoring opponents 589-95 on the season, scoring an average of 11.33 runs per game to opponents 1.83 clip.
Oklahoma has won by run rule in 34 of its 52 games.
OU has scored 10-plus runs in one inning seven times in 2021.
14 Sooner batters have hit a home run this season, with 11 players producing at least two. Six Sooners have 10-plus homers on the year, a program best.
17 times on the season OU has had a player hit two-plus home runs in a game.
The Sooners hold two of the top three individual batting averages in the country out of players with at least 100 at bats:
• 2nd – Jocelyn Alo – .487
• 3rd – Tiare Jennings – .485
Three of the top seven home run hitters in the country wear the crimson and cream.
• 1st – Alo: 30
• T2nd – Jennings: 25
• T7th – Kinzie Hansen: 21
As a team, OU has hit at least one home run in 50 of its 52 games this season and has hit at least two in 41 games. The Sooners have hit six HRs in a game four times on the year.
Oklahoma has hit two-plus home runs in one inning 31 times this season, including three or more eight times and four-plus in one inning ﬁve times.
The Sooners have hit back-to-back home runs 14 times in 2021 and back-to-back-to-back blasts three times.
The Oklahoma defense ranks ﬁrst in the country with a .985 ﬁelding percentage and has committed just 17 errors on the season.
OU’s pitching staff leads the country with 22 shutouts. They rank 15th with a 1.90 ERA.
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