Big 12 Previews

NCAA Softball Tournament: Norman Regional Preview

The Oklahoma Sooners were selected as the No. 1 overall seed in the 2022 NCAA Division I Softball Championship and will host a Regional and Super Regional at Marita Hynes Field in Norman, Oklahoma over the next two weekends.

This weekend, from May 20-22, Oklahoma will host Prairie View A&M, Texas A&M, and Minnesota, playing the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+.

Here is what you need to know ahead of the Norman Regional.


Tale of the Tape

Oklahoma (49-2, 17-1 Big 12) – Oklahoma claimed the No. 1 overall seed after winning 49 of 51 games this season, including the Big 12 Regular Season title. The Sooners have won three of the last five WCWS National Championships.

Prairie View A&M (20-28, 16-8 SWAC) – The Panthers claimed an automatic bid by running through the SWAC Tournament, defeating Alabama State 9-1 in a winner-take-all game three of their conference tournament. PVAMU was a Cinderella in their conference tournament, and they are that and then some in the NCAA Tournament.

Minnesota (26-24-1, 11-12 Big Ten) – The Gophers played the eighth-toughest schedule in college softball this season and come into the Norman Regional battle-tested with two wins over Northwestern plus victories over Arizona State, and UCF, all of whom received seeds in this seasons tournaments.

Texas A&M (29-26, 6-18 SEC) – The Aggies snuck into the tournament after posting just a 6-18 record in SEC play. This is the 20th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament for Texas A&M. This team has recorded wins over Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and LSU in 2022.


Regional Schedule

Friday, May 20 

Game 1 – Minnesota vs. Texas A&M – 4:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
Game 2 – Prairie View A&M vs. Oklahoma – 6:30 p.m. CT (ESPN+)

Saturday, May 21

Game 3 – Winner G1 vs. Winner G2 – TBA
Game 4 – Loser G1 vs. Loser G2 – TBA
Game 5 – Winner G4 vs. Loser G3 – TBA

Sunday, May 22

Game 6 – Winner G3 vs. Winner G5 – TBA
Game 7 – Winner G6 vs. Loser G6 (if necessary) – TBA

One Thing to Watch

Oklahoma freshman pitcher Jordy Bahl was not available for the Sooners in the Big 12 Conference Tournament, and her availability will be paramount for Patty Gasso’s squad if they are to reach their goals of repeating as national champions again in 2022. Unless OU gets into a bind, it is unlikely that Bahl gets any action in the circle this weekend, as it sounds like rest will be important for her going forward. Coach Gasso told media on Saturday that she would know more mid-week on Bahl’s status, so stay tuned for that update.


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