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Red River Rivalry Finally Feels Like a Rivalry in Softball

It is almost always worth something a little extra when Oklahoma and Texas get together in any sport. In softball it had been the exception for many years. Coach Gasso even talked about the fact that when she arrived she was told these are the two schools you hate; her response was “Why?” She prepares her players the same for any opponent because they are on a journey of getting better. It doesn’t matter who you play, you can find some way to improve against them. Last year seemed to turn a page and open the door for rivalry to take shape between them. The fans have always somewhat engaged in the rivalry but until last year, it seemed the players hadn’t embraced it. When Texas beat Oklahoma last season for the first loss of the year for the Sooners, the Longhorns celebrated heartily. Being that game was not for a championship it did not settle well for many. Even though softball is a much more unapologetically emotional game there are still some of the unwritten rules about baseball that linger. Later in the season the Sooners met the Longhorns once again, this time in the NCAA Championship Series. The games were back and forth early with Texas jumping out to an early lead in both. Oklahoma came back and took control and won in dominant fashion. Even allowing for a curtain call for the game’s greatest player Jocelyn Alo with 2 outs in the 7th. This season, the two teams haven’t met yet but feelings of rivalry have been sparked yet again. During the midweek press conference Grace Lyons said the right things but you could tell this weekend meant something a little extra. Thursday, it made the rounds that the previous evening Texas Head Coach Mike White had made some comments that seemingly were very accusatory in nature towards the Sooners recruiting efforts. Whether the players/coaches want to admit it, it seems they are embracing the idea of the rivalry which makes for a much more interesting series. Twitter was alive yesterday with Sooner fans calling out White’s behavior. This evening will be packed and loud for the visiting Longhorns. I for one, cannot wait. 

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