Home runs? Run-rule wins? Pitching? What’s been most impressive about OU softball?

Audrey J. Powers

OU softball seems to be on a collision course with yet another record, and it’s a big one — college softball’s consecutive wins. The Sooners improved to33-0 after a mid-week victory over Tulsa by run rule, making it a whopping 27 run-rule wins this season. If OU keeps winning, it will soon break Arizona’s record of 47 consecutive wins.

What is most impressive about this Sooner success?

Jenni: Pretty much everything. This OU team can pitch, hit, defend. It has no glaring weakness. And frankly, that’s the type of team it would take to have this sort of domination in today’s game. Arizona set the record for consecutive wins in 1996-97, a time when parity in college softball was almost non-existent. Now, there are all sorts of teams good enough to make the Women’s College World Series. But the Sooners just keep rolling.

Berry: I think the depth of the lineup is what keeps the Sooners rolling along. I mean, as you said, OU is outstanding in all areas. But a pitcher might be off every once in a while. A slugger like Jocelyn Alo can be pitched around. The Sooners might throw a bunt down the right-field line. But it doesn’t matter, because that lineup is never-ceasing. The first time I watched OU live this year, Jayda Coleman came to the plate, and I had forgotten all about her. She was batting SEVENTH! Coleman hit .444 last year as a rookie just out of high school, with nine home runs, and now she’s batting seventh in the order. Amazing.

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OU’s Jayda Coleman (24) reacts after scoring in the second inning of a 9-0 win against Tulsa on Wednesday in Norman.

Jenni: That depth makes the Sooners relentless. You can pitch around one or two, but you can’t pitch around nine. Eventually that stress breaks opponents. Such a psychological advantage for OU. But I believe the thing that has set this team apart is stellar pitching. We knew that hitting was going to be otherworldly. But would Jordy Bahl and Hope Trautwein step into the shoes of G Juarez and Shannon Saile? Bahl and Trautwein haven’t filled the shoes; they’ve broken the mold. They’ve been outstanding.

Berry: I like the pitching, but I’m going to withhold too much exuberance until the schedule gets really tough. Bahl seems like the real deal, and we’ve seen enough first-year pitchers take the WCWS by storm to know it can be done, but still. I’ll wait a little longer before a total endorsement.

Jenni: Hold on — OU has beaten three teams currently ranked in the top 25, UCLA (currently No. 2), Kentucky (No. 11) and Tennessee (No. 12). Bahl got the win in all three games. What more endorsement do you want? This isn’t a blind endorsement. This is an informed endorsement.

Berry: I want to see more games against the 10 or so best teams in America. Bahl pitched well against UCLA (almost two months ago) and Kentucky, but she gave up four earned runs in 8 1/3 innings against the Vols. She looks like the real deal. But I’m not ready to crown her the new queen of softball.

Jenni: Is it telling at all that we started debating how good these Sooners are and we ended up arguing about whether their FRESHMAN pitcher is the new queen? This bunch is loaded, and hey, if Bahl isn’t a future queen, good news — OU already has the homer queen. If Alo is some sort of consolation prize, that’s pretty darn amazing.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OU softball: Sooners dominance powered by hitting depth, pitching

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