When Oklahoma returns to play in Friday’s NCAA softball draw at Marita Hynes Field, it will be doing so against a team that has had to work much harder than it has to get there.
The Norman Super Regional begins at 2 p.m. Friday, with OU hosting Washington.
The Sooners are the No. 1 seed in the entire NCAA draw and are therefore favored to pass the No. 16 Huskies.
The Huskies, however, were a contentious election to receive their seed, with many believing they deserved a much higher spot.
In the final coaching poll, Washington came in at No. 6, after posting a 41-11 regular season record, going 18-5 in the Pac-12, falling once to Oregon, once to Oregon. Oregon State and three times against UCLA,
One of those teams, UCLA, the No. 2 seed overall, also qualified for the super regional round.
Washington is en route to the OU softball complex despite losing a regional semifinal to Michigan on Saturday, a loss that forced it to return later the same day to eliminate Seattle University before of having to beat Michigan twice on Sunday.
The Huskies came through, beating the Wolverines 2-0 and 10-5 to continue their season.
There will be a national spotlight on OU (48-2) and Washington (45-12) starting Friday. Each match will be broadcast on national television.
• The series begins at 2 p.m. Friday, with the game airing on ESPN.
• The series continues at 2 pm Saturday, a game that will air on ABC.
• The series will conclude, if necessary, with a Sunday contest at 3 p.m. which will be broadcast on ESPN.
The eventual series winner will begin play in the Women’s College World Series the following Thursday at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
The other seven super regionals are as follows:
• Virginia Tech at No. 2 UCLA, in Los Angeles, starting Thursday.
• No. 14 Kentucky at No. 3 Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, starting Friday.
• Georgia in 4th place in Florida, in Gainesville, from Friday.
• No. 12 Texas at No. 5 Oklahoma State, in Stillwater, starting Friday.
• No. 11 Arizona against No. 6 Arkansas, in Fayetteville, starting Friday.
• No. 10 Florida State at No. 7 LSU in Baton Rouge starting Thursday.
• James Madison at No. 8 Missouri, Columbia, from Friday.