The top-ranked Sooners are back on the road again this weekend. This time the destination is Palm Springs, California where they will compete with Cal State-Fullerton, Long Beach State, Arizona, Tennessee and Utah. This is the first time on the season that Oklahoma has faced a field of competition that includes two nationally ranked teams. Arizona comes into the weekend ranked #8 and Tennessee is ranked #17.
Last weekend, at the Houston Classic, OU dominated the field by winning all five games by way of run-rule and not allowing an earned run for the second consecutive weekend. This weekend’s lineup will be the biggest challenge to this point of the season. The Sooners with play Cal State-Fullerton and Long Beach State on Friday. They’ll face Arizona and Tennessee on Saturday. Finally the weekend will conclude with Utah on Sunday.
All eyes will be on senior Jocelyn Alo who is one home run shy of standing alone as the NCAA’s all-time home run leader. She hit ﬁve home runs in ﬁve games last weekend, including hitting career No. 95 to tie OU alum Lauren Chamberlain as the NCAA Career Home Run Leader. The next dinger she hits will break the record.
Cal State-Fullerton enters the weekend at 7-3 while batting .330 with 13 home runs. They have outscored their opponents 67-13 and are led at the plate by sophomore Hannah Becerra who is batting .467 with 4 HR and 13 RBI. The Titans head coach, Kelly Ford, is a 1992 graduate of Oklahoma, playing her ﬁnal two years of college ball at OU. CSF leads the all-time series against Oklahoma at 11-6. The last meeting between the two was in 2019 at the Mary Nutter Classic, a 9-1 OU win in ﬁve innings.
Long Beach State comes to Palm Springs with a 2-7 record on the season. The Beach have allowed 65 runs this season to just 25 runs scored. Senior Justine Briones is batting .318 with a team-best 2 HR and 6 RBIs. The Sooners lead the series with The Beach 13-2, but LBSU upset OU in Tucson, Ariz., in 2020 by a ﬁnal of 5-4. Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso is a 1984 alum of Long Beach State.
Arizona is 7-2 and has outscored opponents 78-27. The Wildcats have hit 16 home runs, with three different players recording four each. Sharlize Palacios leads the team with 17 RBIs. Oklahoma and Arizona last met in Tucson on Feb. 15, 2020, a 6-4 OU win in 10 innings. The ‘Cats lead the all-time series 29-21 over the Sooners.
Tennessee brings a 6-3 record to California. The Vols are batting .248 as a team with 40 runs scored to 34 given up. Ivy Davis leads the team with three home runs and nine RBIs. Led by Texas Tech transfer Erin Edmoundson’s 31 strikeouts the Tennessee pitching staff holds a 2.77 ERA. OU and UT are tied 5-5 in series history with the last meeting coming at Mary Nutter in 2017, a 2-1 Tennessee victory.
Utah is 7-4 on the season and brings assistant coaches D.J. Gasso (youngest son of head coach Patty Gasso) and Paige Parker (Two-time national champ OU RHP) against Oklahoma in a family reunion style match. The Utes are batting .293 with 57 runs scored with Ellessa Blomstrom leading the team with 3 HR and 14 RBI. The Utah pitching staff holds an ERA of 3.67. The Sooners lead the all-time series 19-5 over the Utes. OU run-ruled Utah 10-2 in Norman in ﬁve innings during the shortened 2020 season.
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