Big 12 Softball: Three Must-Watch Games for Week 6
The last nonconference tournament weekend of the 2023 softball season is upon us, which means that Big 12 play is right around the corner.
Before next weekend gets here though, we’ve got one more slate of games for each of the Big 12’s seven squads to work out any issues before starting conference play.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are the nation’s top two teams and will host interesting opponents this weekend, while Texas Tech hits the road in hopes of picking up another ranked win ahead of Big 12 play.
Here are the top three Big 12 softball games that you can’t miss for Week 6.
#22 Arizona State (16-5) at #2 Oklahoma State (21-2)
Date: Friday, March 17 | Time: 2:30 PM CT | Location: Stillwater, OK | TV: ESPN+
For the third consecutive week, Oklahoma State will face a ranked opponent as the Arizona State Sun Devils come to Stillwater for the OSU Mizuno Classic. Kelly Maxwell and the Cowgirls recently jumped UCLA for the No. 2 ranking in the nation after taking down Florida State in a three-game series and will look to build even more confidence against some good competition this weekend.
Arizona State is coming off a series loss to No. 17 Arizona, but did take one game from the Wildcats. This game won’t be nearly as hyped up as Florida State coming to town next weekend, but ASU is undoubtedly an NCAA Tournament-quality squad and will demand respect from Oklahoma State.
#19 Auburn (21-5) vs. #1 Oklahoma (22-1)
Date: Saturday, March 18 | Time: 6:30 PM CT | Location: Oklahoma City, OK | TV: ESPN+
Oklahoma is set to host the Omni Hall of Fame Classic in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma this weekend, and two ranked teams will come to challenge the Sooners. No. 24 Northwestern will take on the Sooners on Friday night, but the Saturday and Sunday matchups against Auburn are the games that I’m excited for. Oklahoma and Auburn are both explosive offenses, with both teams ranking inside the Top 20 in several offensive categories.
The Sooners are the superior team in this matchup, but that was the case against Baylor earlier in the season as well and that ended in an OU loss. Auburn would love nothing more than to knock of their future SEC rival in their own backyard, so I expect these games to be heavyweight bouts with back-and-forth haymakers thrown from each side.
Texas Tech (23-7) at #25 Maryland (19-4)
Date: Friday, March 17 | Time: 6:00 PM CT | Location: College Park, MD | TV: B10+
Perhaps the game that I am most excited for this weekend is the matchup between Texas Tech and No. 25 Maryland. Why? Because this is the perfect opportunity for the Red Raiders to prove that they are ready to take the next step as a program. In Craig Snider’s first year, TTU has already surpassed its win total from a season ago and has a chance to get nearly 30 wins before conference play. That sets them up nicely for a potential tournament bid in May, considering they can be competitive in Big 12 play.
Maryland is the real deal though, and it will take Tech’s best effort to take down the Terps. Three weeks ago, Baylor took down Maryland in Waco by a score of 5-0. If Texas Tech can go on the road and replicate the Bears’ success, it would be a monumental win for the program. Tech will get two shots at Maryland this weekend, with the first game on Friday, and the second game on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. CT.