Thirty-six wins, zero losses. That’s what the Oklahoma softball team’s record is right now, breaking the all-time Division I record previously set in 1999 by UCLA at 35-0. Now, with a streak this absurd, this dominant, you’d think there have been hiccups. Perhaps there were a few games where Oklahoma barely squeaked by. After all, a streak of this magnitude has to require a lot of luck, right? Not really though. Luck has nothing to do with it. There was one game against Tennessee where the Sooners needed ten innings to outlast the Volunteers. Aside from that though, Oklahoma has just outclassed almost everybody they’ve come across. They’ve made other collegiate teams look like high school JV squads.
In their 36 games this year, how large do you believe their average margin of victory could be? Three runs a game? Five runs a game? How about seven? That’d be a lot, right? Try nine. They have outscored their opponents 354 to 27 and that margin could be much worse if the Sooners’ defense hadn’t allowed 10 unearned runs this year. They’ve had just five games end within five runs of the opposition. The Sooners have won every other game by at least eight, and that doesn’t even tell the whole story.
A collegiate softball game is supposed to last seven innings. However, the mercy rule, or “run rule,” as it’s officially called, can be invoked if one team is leading their opponents by or eight runs after five innings. Thirty of Oklahoma’s games have ended due to the eight run rule, meaning that Oklahoma didn’t even get the chance to continue racking up runs for the full seven innings in five out of every six games they’ve played this year. Let me say that again. The NCAA has a rule in place to limit the metaphorical bloodshed in an absolute blowout and Oklahoma has hit that threshold THIRTY TIMES!
Obviously, their offense is insanely good. They have four players with at least 10 home runs this season, including Jocelyn Alo, the all-time DI leader in home runs. But if every home run the Sooners hit this year was just a solo shot, they still would’ve recorded more than three times as many runs as their opponents this season. Hell, they have more home runs (100) this year than their opponents have hits (90).
That’s a testament to the team’s pitching. The Sooners’ lead all Division I programs in ERA at 0.6. They’ve thrown a jaw-dropping six no-hitters this year. That’s tied for the most in program history in a single season, and the team still has 14 games left in the regular season. They throw a no-hitter almost once a week. It’s like a casual Friday to them, just a normal happenstance that they go through once every two series. They’ve only allowed more than one run four times.
It’s just astonishing what Oklahoma has been able to accomplish and we’re not even done with the season. There isn’t another team anywhere in their stratosphere. The Sooners’ team slugging percentage currently sits at .814. That’s 164 points higher than the number two team in the nation, Arizona State (.650). That 164 point difference is larger than the difference between Arizona State and No. 45 Clemson. As great as South Carolina’s basketball team was this year, they didn’t go undefeated. I know the season isn’t over, but these Sooners are dominating at an unprecedented rate, and it wouldn’t be shocking if they invoke the mercy rule during every game of the college world series as well.