Mighty Oklahoma up next for Arkansas softball

By: Matt Jones
Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018
Oklahoma players celebrate at home plate as they wait for Nicole Pendley following a home run by Pendley against Baylor in the third inning during the championship game of the Big 12 softball tournament in Oklahoma City, Saturday, May 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma players celebrate at home plate as they wait for Nicole Pendley following a home run by Pendley against Baylor in the third inning during the championship game of the Big 12 softball tournament in Oklahoma City, Saturday, May 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

— Arkansas is going to Oklahoma for the next round of the NCAA Softball Tournament.

The Razorbacks hope to hang around for a while.

Arkansas will play two-time defending national champion Oklahoma in the best-of-three NCAA super regional round beginning either Thursday or Friday in Norman, Okla. The winner will advance to the Women's College World Series the following week in Oklahoma City.

Play begins Friday at 4 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2. Games Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) will begin at noon and will be televised by ESPN.

Oklahoma (53-3) is the No. 4 national seed and swept its home regional with wins of Missouri, Tulsa and Boston by a combined score of 24-0. Oklahoma defeated Missouri 7-0 in the regional final Sunday to advance to the super regionals for the ninth consecutive season.

The Sooners, who went 18-0 in Big 12 play, enter the super regional on a 14-game win streak and have not lost since an April 19 game at Oregon, the No. 1 national seed.

Oklahoma leads the nation in runs scored (7.02 per game) and fielding percentage (.989), and is third in ERA (1.15).

It is the seventh time Arkansas has been sent to Oklahoma in its eight NCAA postseason appearances. The Razorbacks have played six regionals at Marita Hynes Field and were eliminated by the Sooners in the 2017 NCAA Tournament with a 5-3 loss in Norman.

Arkansas is 2-23 all-time against Oklahoma, including 0-5 in the postseason.

The Razorbacks (42-15) won the NCAA Fayetteville Regional with an opening-game win over DePaul and two wins over Wichita State. Arkansas defeated Wichita State 6-4 at Bogle Park on Sunday to advance to the super regionals for the first time.

Arkansas and Oklahoma did not play this season, but did play a 10-inning exhibition game at Hynes Field last October that Oklahoma won 7-2. Arkansas did not throw either of its frontline pitchers.

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