We are already into the fifth weekend of the college softball season and we have a pretty good idea of who will be the top competitors to get to the WCWS this summer.
One of those teams is Oklahoma, who had last weekend off but is now in Honolulu, Hawaii for the Rainbow Wahine Classic. Hawaii is, of course, the home of Sooner All-American Jocelyn Alo who gave a heart-warming speech to young players ahead of the tournament this week.
Alo has the unique opportunity to break the NCAA record for career home runs this weekend at home, which would be a storybook way to see her name enter the record books.
The Baylor Bears are in Hawaii this weekend as well and actually got the Rainbow Wahine Classic started off on Wednesday with a 6-7 loss to Cal and 2-1 victory over Hawaii. The Bears will actually face the Sooners on Thursday in the first Big 12 game of the season but it will not count towards either team’s conference record.
Oklahoma State and Iowa State will both hit the road this weekend as well, while Texas, Texas Tech, and Kansas will host invitationals at their home fields.
Let’s get into the weekend schedule for each team in the Big 12.
As mentioned above, the Sooners are at the Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu this weekend and will face Baylor to open up their weekend. After that, a sneaky good 16-6 Cal team is on deck who will be looking to knock off the Sooners on Friday evening. Back-to-back games against Hawaii on Friday and Saturday await the Sooners after that. Jocelyn Alo will be the story of the weekend in Honolulu, and if she can get someone to pitch to her this weekend, she will become the new home run queen.
|Baylor||Mar 10 (Thu)||7:30 p.m. CT||Honolulu, HI||TV: SoonerSports.TV|
|Cal||Mar 11 (Fri)||7:30 p.m. CT||Honolulu, HI||TV: SoonerSports.TV|
|Hawaii||Mar 11 (Fri)||10:00 p.m. CT||Honolulu, HI||TV: SoonerSports.TV|
|Hawaii||Mar 12 (Sat)||4:00 p.m. CT||Honolulu, HI||TV: ESPN+|
Outside of three games this season (LSU, South Florida, and Game 2 vs Stanford), Oklahoma State has looked like one of the top teams in the country. Miranda Elish is starting to find her groove, as is Morgan Day, and if they both continue to improve the Cowgirls will be tough to beat in a series. This weekend, OSU is headed to Memphis, Tennessee for an invitational hosted by the Tigers. Oklahoma State should be able to handle business this weekend against the likes of Memphis, Central Arkansas, South Dakota, and SLU, and should be in a great spot heading into the final week without Big 12 matchups.
|Memphis||Mar 10 (Thu)||6:30 p.m. CT||Memphis, TN|
|Central Arkansas||Mar 11 (Fri)||2:00 p.m. CT||Memphis, TN|
|South Dakota||Mar 12 (Sat)||1:00 p.m. CT||Memphis, TN|
|SE Louisiana||Mar 12 (Sat)||3:00 p.m. CT||Memphis, TN|
The Longhorns were able to hang tough with No. 2 Alabama last weekend but came out on the losing end both times. Now, they are back within the confines of Red & Charline McCombs Field for the Bevo Classic. Two games with Minnesota stick out this weekend among contests with Drake and Nicholls State. Texas needs to find some consistency this weekend and should be able to do just that. The talent on this roster should make for easy wins, but as we all know, that doesn’t just happen. FGCU had no business beating Texas earlier in the year but it happened. Look for head coach Mike White to use this weekend as a building block with contests against Louisiana and LSU coming up.
|Drake||Mar 11 (Fri)||4:00 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||TV: LHN|
|Minnesota||Mar 11 (Fri)||6:30 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||TV: LHN|
|Nicholls State||Mar 12 (Sat)||3:00 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||TV: LHN|
|Minnesota||Mar 12 (Sat)||5:30 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||TV: LHN|
|Drake||Mar 13 (Sun)||12:00 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||TV: LHN|
Iowa State went a disappointing 2-3 at the Wildcat Invitational last weekend but will try and turn things around in the Louisville Slugger Invitational in Long Beach, CA this weekend. The Cyclones will need to navigate a tricky schedule with tough teams like Cal State Fullerton and UCF on the docket, but they should be a tough out for anyone in this tournament. Look for Iowa State to come out of the weekend with a few good wins to their name.
|Boston||Mar 11 (Fri)||1:30 p.m. CT||Long Beach, CA|
|Long Beach State||Mar 11 (Fri)||4:00 p.m. CT||Long Beach, CA|
|UCF (RV)||Mar 12 (Sat)||2:00 p.m. CT||Long Beach, CA|
|Cal State Fullerton||Mar 12 (Sat)||7:00 p.m. CT||Long Beach, CA|
|Sacramento State||Mar 13 (Sun)||12:00 p.m. CT||Long Beach, CA|
Baylor’s time in Honolulu has resulted in a 1-1 record in the Rainbow Wahine Classic so far and things get a lot tougher on Thursday night when they face the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Baylor has been up and down this season but, for the most part, has won the games it should’ve. Well, right now would be a good time to win a game that they shouldn’t. If they can’t upend OU, they will get a shot at redemption with Cal on Friday afternoon; the Golden Bears handed them a 7-6 loss on Wednesday.
|Oklahoma (#1)||Mar 10 (Thu)||7:30 p.m. CT||Honolulu, HI|
|Cal||Mar 11 (Fri)||4:30 p.m. CT||Honolulu, HI|
The Red Radiers are set to host their second of three straight invitationals in Lubbock, TX and hope to get back to .500 this weekend. In able to do that, they must go a perfect 4-0 but I believe this team can handle Tulsa and Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. They will play each team on Saturday and Sunday at Rocky Johnson Field and will try to build something positive after dropping their last game to North Texas 3-11. A team batting average of .232 is killing this team right now, but if they can find a way to warm up the bats over the next two weekends, they will enter Big 12 play with plenty of confidence.
|Tulsa||Mar 12 (Sat)||1:30 p.m. CT||Long Beach, CA|
|Texas A&M – Corpus Christi||Mar 12 (Sat)||4:00 p.m. CT||Long Beach, CA|
|Texas A&M – Corpus Christi||Mar 13 (Sun)||12:30 p.m. CT||Long Beach, CA|
|Tulsa||Mar 13 (Sun)||3:00 p.m. CT||Long Beach, CA|
KU is set to host the Jayhawk invitational in Lawrence, KS but will play just one game on Sunday and two on Monday. An 11-5 Iowa team will be a good test for the Lady Jayhawks, as will the 11-6 Wichita State Shockers on Monday. Kansas has struggled out the gate against tough competition and needs to find a way to win two of three this weekend. After this weekend there are just six games between Kansas and a three-game series with Texas to open up Big 12 play.
|Iowa||Mar 13 (Sun)||3:30 p.m. CT||Lawrence, KS|
|Wichita State||Mar 14 (Mon)||1:30 p.m. CT||Lawrence, KS|
|SEMO||Mar 14 (Mon)||4:00 p.m. CT||Lawrence, KS|