The Sooners and the Longhorns played the first game of their three-game Red River Rivalry series at USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City, Okla. The games on Saturday and Sunday will be in Norman, Okla.
The move to Oklahoma City paid off. The game drew 8,930 fans.
The USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex is used to big crowds. It hosts the Women’s College World Series every June, which last year saw the Sooners and the Longhorns face each other in the national championship series, which Oklahoma won.
There was some building going into this series, as one might expect from a series pitting the rivals. Plus, Oklahoma is No. 1 in the country and Texas is No. 8/9 in different polls. Either way, it was a Top 10 matchup.
Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso, who has led the Sooners to back-to-back national titles, said that if a rivalry is described by hate, “Then we don’t have rivals.”
“So, there are a few teams we’ve had a little bit of chippiness with, but not to the point of all-out war. We don’t play our game that way,” Gasso said.
Meanwhile, Texas coach Mike White threw a little gas on the Red River Rivalry fire by seeming to imply that, well OU’s success isn’t all about player development.
“They find ways to keep reloading, and I’m not quite sure all of it is–you know, whatever, I won’t say any more,” White said while stopping himself in an interview, via KVUE’s Tyler Feldman.
Saturday and Sunday’s games will be shown to a national TV audience on ESPN2 with ESPN’s crew of Beth Mowins, Michele Smith and Amanda Scarborough calling the action. Both games are schedule for an 11 a.m. first pitch.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard