NORMAN — Oklahoma softball head coach Patty Gasso and Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione unveiled Wednesday the seven-time defending Big 12 Champions’ 2019 schedule.
The Sooners will be road tested this spring with 37 of their 52 games taking place at road or neutral sites. OU will play 27 games against teams that reached the 2018 NCAA Tournament, including four Super Regional and two Women’s College World Series qualifiers.
2019 will be the 25th season for Oklahoma under the direction of Gasso. OU has reached the postseason in each of her previous 24 years, including nine straight trips to the Super Regionals, 12 overall appearances in the WCWS and four national titles.
The season begins Feb. 8-10 at the Grand Canyon University Kickoff Tournament in Phoenix, Ariz. Oklahoma is starting its year at the tournament for the second straight season, facing Syracuse and GCU on Friday. After playing Charlotte and a rematch against Syracuse on Saturday, OU wraps up its season-opening weekend against San Diego State on Sunday.
From there, OU then heads to a pair of prestigious tournaments. From Feb. 14-16, OU will compete in the inaugural St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, owned and operated by ESPN Events at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. The Sooners will face four NCAA tournament teams that weekend, opening with back-to-back contests against Kentucky and Notre Dame. After taking on Florida Atlantic, OU will meet 2018 national champion Florida State. Finally, the Sooners close out the weekend against Hofstra.
OU then makes its annual trip to the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., Feb. 22-24, where it will once again take on four teams that reached the 2018 NCAA tournament. The Sooners will meet BYU and fellow WCWS qualifier UCLA on Friday, Arizona on Saturday, and Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara on Sunday.
The Sooners will play nine of their 15 home contests over the following two weeks, opening their home slate March 1-3 in the first of two OU-hosted tournaments. OU welcomes Oregon State and Louisiana-Lafayette in the first weekend of play at Marita Hynes Field, playing a pair of games against both opponents.
After a midweek tilt with 2018 Southland Conference champion McNeese State on March 5, the Sooners take on Northwestern, Drake and GCU in their second home tournament of the season March 8-10. Tulsa will also play in the event.
Oklahoma will play its final regular season tournament March 14-16. The Sooners will face UCSB and Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles on Thursday before heading to Northridge, Calif., on Friday to play at CSUN. OU returns to Los Angeles on Saturday for games against Illinois and LMU.
The Sooners will then take on North Texas on Wednesday, March 20. Additional midweek games include contests against Tulsa on March 27 in Norman and at Wichita State on April 24.
Oklahoma’s final non-conference games of the regular season are scheduled for March 30-31 as the team travels to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a pair of games against Utah.
The quest for an unprecedented eighth straight Big 12 title begins when the Sooners open league play with a three-game series at Texas Tech on March 22-24.
The majority of OU’s conference contests will take place on the road in 2019 with games at TTU, at Kansas (April 12-14), at Texas (April 18-20), at Iowa State (April 26-28) and at Oklahoma State (May 3 and 5). The Sooners will host Big 12 foes Baylor (April 5-7) and Oklahoma State (May 4) at Marita Hynes Field.
Postseason play begins May 10-12 as Oklahoma looks to defend its Big 12 Tournament title at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. The 2018 NCAA Regionals are then scheduled for May 17-19 at campus sites, while the Super Regionals are also scheduled to take place at campus sites from May 23-26. The 2018 Women’s College World Series will be held in Oklahoma City from May 30 through June 5.