NORMAN, Okla. — Following a seven-game home stand, Oklahoma softball is back on the road this weekend.
The Sooners (20-2) are California bound again this season, but this time for the LMU/CSUN Tournament.
They’ll face UC Santa Barbara and Loyola Marymount on Thursday, Dartmouth and Cal State Northridge on Friday and Illinois Saturday.
Here are four things to know beforehand:
1. Cal State Northridge has historically challenged OU.
The Matadors are OU’s only opponent this weekend that has multiple program wins over the Sooners. The Sooners own the all-time series vs. Cal State Northridge 9-6, but have won seven of the their last eight against the Matadors.
Cal State Northridge nearly upset OU last season, taking the then-fifth-ranked Sooners to 11 innings. Fale Aviu singled in the top of the 11th, however, to score Jocelyn Alo in OU's eventual 2-1 win.
The battle ended up being OU’s longest game of the 2018 season and its only double-digit inning bout of the year.
2. Shannon Saile continues to prove OU’s depth at pitcher.
The newcomer from Florida International won her first Big 12 Pitcher of the Week award on Tuesday.
Mariah Lopez has won the award twice and Giselle Juarez has won it once already this season.
Saile earned two saves last weekend vs. Drake and Grand Canyon. She also recorded a win in four innings pitched vs. McNeese last week.
3. Sydney Romero is on record-book watch this weekend.
The senior has 179 RBIs in her career, which is tied for the eighth most of any Sooner. She’s currently tied with Amber Flores for the eighth spot, but could take sole possession of the slot by the end of the week.
She needs five more RBIs to tie the seventh-highest total (184 RBIs) held by Lisa Carey.
4. OU is ranked No. 2 in the NFCA Top 25 poll, which is the highest it's been ranked this season.
The Sooners haven’t been the No. 2-ranked team since their run from March 29, 2018, to April 21. They went 13-1 in the span.
Their only defeat during that time was a 5-0 loss to then-No. 4 Oregon.
OU softball weekend schedule
• Game 1: OU (20-2) vs. UC Santa Barbara (5-16) at 11 a.m.
• Game 2: vs. Loyola Marymount (12-9) at 4 p.m.
• Place: Smith Field, Los Angeles (LMU/CSUN Tournament)
• Radio: KEBC 1560 AM
• TV: None
• Friday at Northridge: vs. Dartmouth (Noon at LMU/CSUN Tournament); vs. CSUN (4:30 p.m. at LMU/CSUN Tournament)
• Saturday at Los Angeles: vs. Illinois (11 a.m. at LMU/CSUN Tournament)