After an impressive offensive showing in the Norman Regional, the No. 1 seed Oklahoma Sooners are set to host No. 16 seed Central Florida in one of eight host sites for the NCAA Softball Super Regionals.
In a future Big 12 matchup, the UCF Knights will bring their AAC and Orlando Regional Champion mettle into Norman to face the juggernaut of the softball world in Oklahoma.
Here is everything you need to know about the Sooners and Knights ahead of their Super Regional matchup.
Tale of the Tape
Oklahoma (52-2, 17-1 Big 12): The Sooners come into the Super Regionals after winning two of their three regional matchups by run rule and outscoring their opponents 37-2 over the weekend. The Sooners offense is clicking on all cylinders and the defense recorded zero errors on the weekend, playing immaculate softball behind Hope Trautwein and Nicole May. Oklahoma isn’t at full strength with Jordy Bahl currently remaining in the dugout, but she is hopeful to return to the lineup at some point this postseason. Trautwein and May were great for OU this weekend and have the capability of taking this team far with the way the offense is playing. A lineup that included Jocelyn Alo, Jayda Coleman, Grace Lyons, Tiare Jennings, and Lynnsie Elam gives Oklahoma the closest thing to Murderer’s Row that softball has seen.’
UCF (49-12, 16-2 AAC): The Knights went a perfect 3-0 in their first ever time hosting an NCAA Regional, beating Villanova 6-0 in their opening game, and then played perhaps the game of the tournament so far in an 11-inning brawl against Michigan that ended in a 3-2 win for UCF. The Knights defeated Michigan again on Sunday 9-4 and secured their spot in Norman this weekend. The Knights are a dangerous matchup for Oklahoma, as they have two experienced pitchers in Gianna Mancha (1.62 ERA, 23-3 Record) and Kama Woodall (1.88 ERA, 18-4 Record) that they can go to if the Sooner bats start to have too much success. The Knights’ offense is centered around Jada Cody, a sophomore utility player who leads her team in batting average (.368), home runs (14), RBIs (74), OPS (1.134) and slugging percentage (.695).
Super Regional Schedule
LOCATION: MARITA HYNES FIELD; NORMAN, OKLAHOMA
Game 1: Friday, May 27, 3:30 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
Game 2: Saturday, May 28, 1:00 p.m. CT (ESPN)
Game 3: Sunday, May 29 (if necessary)
One Thing to Watch
As I mentioned above, the battle between Oklahoma’s lineup and UCF’s pitching staff will be what decides this matchup. The Sooners, as a team, lead the country in every major offensive category. UCF, who has played some good offenses this season, ranks 23rd in ERA, but their duo of Mancha and Woodall shouldn’t be overlooked. This will be a tough series for Oklahoma, and one that Patty Gasso’s squad cannot afford to take lightly.