OU softball: Sooners' road to 2021 Women's College World Series will start in El Paso
NORMAN — OU’s softball season will begin Thursday in El Paso, Texas, Sooners coach Patty Gasso announced Tuesday.
OU, ranked fourth in both the USA Today and ESPN.com preseason polls, is scheduled to play its first 13 games on the road before the home opener March 5 against Missouri and Sam Houston State.
OU’s schedule features 10 programs which made the 2019 NCAA Tournament and six teams in the preseason top 25 polls.
The Sooners have reached the postseason every year during Gasso’s 26-year tenure, 10 consecutive trips to the Super Regionals, 13 Women’s College World Series appearances and four national titles.
Last season was cut short before the postseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sooners were 20-4 before the season was canceled.
The season was scheduled to begin in Abilene, Texas, but play shifted to El Paso due to inclement weather.
OU’s schedule includes the inaugural Hall of Fame Tournament at the newly renovated USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City on March 12-13, where they’ll play Houston and Liberty.
From March 19-21, the Sooners will play the Mexican national team in Norman. Current Sooner Nicole Mendes is also on Team Mexico and other current or former Sooners of Mexican heritage could play for the Mexican national squad in that game.
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The Sooners open Big 12 play March 26 at Iowa State before returning home to host Kansas beginning April 1.
In the middle of the Big 12 schedule, the Sooners travel to preseason No. 14 Georgia for an April 20 doubleheader.
OU hosts Texas April 16-18 and finishes the season at Oklahoma State from May 7-9. The three Bedlam games will be at one location for the first time since 1997.
As of now, OU is anticipating approximately 25% capacity allowance at Marita Hynes Field for 2021, though that could be changed.
Tickets will first be available to 2020 OU softball season ticket holders and Sooner Club members in priority order.
As in other sports at OU, fans must wear cloth or surgical masks that cover the mouth and nose completely at all times except for eating and drinking. Clear face shields, gaiters, buffs, bandanas or masks with valves are not permitted.
OU softball schedule 2021
Thursday: at UTEP, Abilene Christian*
Friday: Abilene Christian*, at UTEP
Feb. 19: UTSA^, at Sam Houston State
Feb. 20: at Houston (DH)
Feb. 26: New Mexico#, at Arizona State
Feb. 27: New Mexico@, at Grand Canyon
Feb. 28: Portland State@
March 5: Missouri, Sam Houston State
March 6: Louisiana-Monroe, TBD
March 7: TBD
March 10: Texas-Arlington
March 11: BYU (DH)
March 12: Houston!
March 13: Liberty!
March 14: Liberty
March 19-21: Team Mexico
March 26-28: at Iowa State
April 1-3: Kansas
April 7: at Wichita State
April 9-11: at Baylor
April 16-18: Texas
April 20: at Georgia (DH)
April 23-25: Texas Tech
April 28: North Texas
April 30-May 1: at Tennessee-Chattanooga
May 7-9: at Oklahoma State
^at Sam Houston State
#at Arizona State
@at Grand Canyon
!at Hall of Fame Stadium, Oklahoma City