NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma’s regular-season slate included few home games — 13 to be exact.
The Sooner softball team (49-2) learned it won't have to leave the 405 area code, however, for the remainder of the 2019 season on Sunday.
OU will host a regional site and was selected as the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.
“I’m proud of this group,” OU coach Patty Gasso stated in a university release. “Earning the No. 1 seed is a big accomplishment, and it’s very difficult to do. A lot of hard work was put into this season so far. This team is highly motivated, and I’m excited for what comes next for them.”
It’s the first time since 2013 and the second time in program history OU has earned the top overall seed.
The NCAA Norman Regional, scheduled to run Friday through Sunday, includes Wisconsin, Notre Dame and UMBC.
OU opens the regional with UMBC, which won the America East tournament. The Sooners and Retrievers will play at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The game will air on ESPN2 and will follow a 6 p.m. contest between Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
If the Sooners top the Retrievers, they’ll face the winner of Wisconsin-Notre Dame on Saturday for a spot in Sunday’s regional final. A loss to UMBC on Friday would put OU in an elimination game on Saturday.
The top-seeded Sooners are the only Norman Regional team ranked in college softball’s three major polls.
UMBC qualified for the NCAA tournament with an undefeated run through its conference tournament. The Retrievers claimed their conference's automatic bid despite finishing 7-11 against America East opponents in the regular season.
OU’s meeting with UMBC on Friday will be the first ever between the programs.
Wisconsin (40-12) enters NCAA tournament play after losing to Michigan in the Big Ten tournament semifinals. Notre Dame (36-16) suffered a similar fate, losing to Florida State in the ACC tournament semifinals.
OU is 6-5 in its all-time series vs. Notre Dame. The teams last met earlier this season in February at the St. Pete-Clearwater Elite Invitational. OU won 6-2.
OU has won three of four all-time meetings against Wisconsin. The Sooners and Badgers haven't faced each other, however, since March 8, 2003.
Tickets for the NCAA Norman Regional will go on sale at 10 a.m. today. All-session general admission tickets can be purchased online or by calling (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-4668.
If OU wins its regional, it’ll advance to the NCAA Super Regional round (May 24-26) against the winner of the NCAA Evanston (Illinois) Regional.