Big 12 Previews

Oklahoma Softball vs. Duke WCWS Preview and Prediction

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the 2024 Women’s College World Series matchup between No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 10 Duke.


Location: OGE Energy Field at Devon Park | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Time: Thursday, May 30 | 1:30 p.m. CT | ESPN

Records: Oklahoma (54-6); Duke (52-7)

Rankings: Oklahoma (No. 2 Seed); Duke (No. 10 Seed)

Last Week: Oklahoma def. Florida State (2-0) in Norman Super Regional; Duke def. Missouri (2-1) in Columbia Super Regional

Fun Fact: This will be just the third all-time meeting between these two programs. OU is 2-0 against Duke, with the most recent win coming against them back in February in a 3-0 contest.




  • Appearances: 21 (Eight consecutive appearances dating back to 2016)
  • Championships: 7 (2000, ’13, ’16, ’17, ’21, ’22, ’23)
  • All-Time NCAA Tournament Record: 160-54 (.748)
  • All-Time WCWS Record: 48-23 (.676)


  • Appearances: 1 (2024 is Duke’s first-ever WCWS appearance)
  • Championships: 0
  • All-Time NCAA Record: 13-8 (.619)
  • All-Time WCWS Record: 0-0

*Duke’s softball program started in 2018



LHP Kelly Maxwell, Gr.

Kelly Maxwell will be making her fourth consective trip to the Women’s College World Series, and her lone trip as part of the Sooners’ program. The Oklahoma State grad transfer maintains a 1.96 ERA over 128.1 IP and is holding opponents to a .172 batting average. Maxwell has pitched in 14.0 innings through the NCAA Tournament and will come into this weekend as fresh as she’s been in postseason play.


INF Tiare Jennings, Sr.

Several names could emerge as the “go-to” bat for Oklahoma in OKC, but none of them are more likely than Tiare Jennings. The career RBI leader in WCWS history with 29 entering this week, Jennings has been as clutch as they come on softball’s biggest stage. If OU is going to become the first team to win four straight WCWS titles, Jennings’ bat will be a factor. Jennings is averaging a career-low .372 batting average on the year but still leads the Sooners in RBIs (63) and home runs on the year (22).


RHP Jala Wright, Sr.

Duke enters the WCWS with one of the best pitching staffs in the country, having three arms who have a 1.70 ERA or better. Their top arm for 2024 has been senior Jala Wright, who’s gone 19-2 as a starter with a 1.28 ERA and an opponent batting average of .176. Cassidy Curd (1.29 ERA) has also been good this postseason, but if the game is on the line, I’d expect Wright to get the call.

OF Claire Davidson, Sr.

The top bat for the Blue Devils’ offense this season has been Claire Davidson, and it’s by quite a wide statistical margin. Davidson leads Duke in batting (.439), OPS (1.420), RBIs (67), HR (18), slugging (.884), and on-base percentage (.536). If Duke is going to make noise in Oklahoma City, there’s a good chance that it will all start with No. 7 at the plate.




Can Oklahoma make history and win its fourth straight national championship? That will be the question that everyone is asking coming into this week, but the Sooners had better have their focus on this Duke squad. The Blue Devils were underseeded at No. 10 and have lost just seven games on the year. The OU offense cannot afford to disappear, as it has at times this season, against Duke’s stellar pitching staff. If OU wins, they set themselves up to face the winner of UCLA and Alabama. Their path to the Championship Series is rather favorable, granted that Tennessee is out of the picture, but there are no easy wins remaining on the schedule.


For the first time in program history, which only dates back to 2018, the Duke Blue Devils are headed to the Women’s College World Series. The atmosphere and excitement of being in OKC is something that we’ve seen get to teams in the past, so the question for Duke will be if they can remain focused and do what it takes to send Oklahoma to the loser’s bracket. Duke actually opened up its season against the Sooners all the way back in February, a 0-3 loss to Gasso’s squad in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Can they get revenge and advance to the winners bracket?


When these teams met at the beginning of the year, it was quickly apparent that Duke could hang with the defending national champs. The Sooners’ offense managed just three runs on the day but Duke had just three hits and couldn’t get a run across the plate. In four of the Blue Devils’ seven losses on the year, they’ve been held to a batting average of less than .200, and against Oklahoma is was .143 (3-of-21). They saw Kelly Maxwell for 5.0 innings in that matchup, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s who we see to start on Thursday, too. Oklahoma’s offense has been explosive at Devon Park in 2024, and I expect more of the same this week. The runs will come at a premium against the Blue Devils, but OU does enough to advance to the Winner’s Bracket on Saturday.

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