University of Oklahoma Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione and Oklahoma softball head coach Patty Gasso have announced the Sooners' 2015 softball schedule.
Oklahoma enters the 2015 campaign looking to become the first team to record five straight trips to the Women's College World Series since Arizona reached six in a row from 2005-10.
To get there, the Sooners will have to face 13 teams that reached the postseason last year, including five that advanced to the Super Regionals and two of the other seven teams that made it to the WCWS along with OU.
“Year in and year out, we continue to play a tough schedule because the philosophy of our program is that we don't back down from anybody,” Gasso said. “We know that these kinds of games prepare us for our ending, and that's what it's all about.
“In order to get where we want to go, we have to travel down a tough road throughout the season. We prepare for that, we embrace that and we're excited for what the season has in store.”
The season begins Feb. 5 in Honolulu, Hawaii, when Oklahoma meets DePaul, which reached Regionals last year, in the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic. It's the Sooners' first trip to Hawaii since opening the 2009 season there. From there Oklahoma travels to Tempe, Ariz., to play in Arizona State's Littlewood Classic, Feb. 13-15. The tournament is highlighted by a contest against Washington, which reached the Supers in 2014, and two games against the host-Sun Devils.
Arguably the toughest weekend of the non-conference season comes the following weekend at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Feb. 19-21, in Palm Springs, Calif. Four of Oklahoma's five opponents in the tournament are coming off postseason berths, including Arizona, San Diego State, Georgia and WCWS-participant Kentucky.
The first of 25 scheduled home games takes place Feb. 28 with a doubleheader against IPFW. That kicks off a 14-game homestand that features a matchup against Hofstra, a team that was part of the Norman Regional last year but did not face OU. Following the homestand is a season-high six-game road trip that features games against LSU and McNeese State.
Winners of an unprecedented three straight Big 12 titles, Oklahoma's quest for a fourth consecutive league crown begins with a trip to Texas Tech in the Big 12 opener on March 27.
Iowa State visits Norman for the Big 12 home opener on April 3, which is followed by a midweek tilt against Arkansas on April 8 and a road series in Austin against Texas, April 10-12. After returning home to meet North Texas for the second time this season, OU welcomes Baylor before meeting Oklahoma State in the first game of the Bedlam series in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma gets its first look at Kansas' new facility, Arrocha Ballpark, April 24-26, then welcomes in Utah Valley, May 1-2, in the final non-conference games of the season. Game two of the Bedlam Series will be played in Norman on May 9, while the regular season finale takes place in Stillwater the following day.
The NCAA Regionals are scheduled for May 15-17, followed by the NCAA Super Regionals May 22-24 and the 2015 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, May 28 – June 3.