One 12 months later, Oklahoma is again at residence

The cardboard cutouts have been cute. They served their objective. However their time has handed.

When Oklahoma reconvenes at present at Marita Hynes Stadium for the Courtyard Marriott Match, the Sooners will see precise stay, human beings within the seats.

“To be at residence, I’m actual excited,” mentioned OU coach Patty Gasso. “I can’t inform you how excited we’re. As a result of there’s been a lot uncertainty and a lot unknown. To observe our guys on the market energy cleansing and hosing every little thing off, every little thing has been like ultimate touches— it’s a very superior feeling. Actually.

“Now we have cardboard cutouts. All over the place. From infants to animals to alumni. There’s all types of various figures on the market. However to see an actual individual in OU gear cheering for us is gonna be an absolute celebration on our aspect.”

OU takes on Sam Houston State at 6:30 p.m. Friday, then performs a doubleheader Saturday, with Missouri at 12:30 p.m. and Louisiana-Monroe at 5:30 p.m., after which performs two extra Sunday towards Missouri (12:30) and Sam Houston (5:30).

Oklahoma’s final residence sport was precisely 363 days in the past — March 7, 2020.

The crew is off to a 12-0 begin and has climbed to No. 1 within the polls this week. However for the newcomers — though this weekend’s motion is proscribed to family and friends solely — this shall be their first residence sport, and their first publicity to OU followers.

“I imply, taking part in with no followers is quite a bit much less enjoyable than taking part in with followers,” mentioned third baseman Jana Johns, who transferred from South Carolina. “I imply, residence subject benefit, for certain. I’ve heard that the Sooner followers are loopy they usually’re loud they usually’re all for the Sooners. So I’m actually excited to see what that’s all about.”

Freshman pitcher Nicole Could is a freshman from California, however she received to expertise OU residence crowds on her visits and he or she’s been ready a very long time to really feel it for herself.

“I liked the surroundings right here,” Could mentioned. “That was one thing I remembered even after my visits and stuff, was the house surroundings and the supportive followers and all that. So I’m actually wanting ahead to having the ability to play in entrance of our followers and our stadium. I form of felt that vibe earlier than after I was within the stands, and now I’ll be on the sphere. So I really feel like that’ll be actually thrilling.”

Gasso retains issues in correct perspective and has a profound appreciation for what all of the student-athletes have been by means of over the previous 12 months, however she additionally values this weekend as a possibility for her softball crew to get higher.

To that finish, she needs to see higher protection throughout, and he or she needs to see her pitchers and others lastly get examined by having to play seven innings. Of OU’s 12 video games thus far, 10 have been run-rule victories.

“There’s sure folks that I’m like, ‘I’ve received to make use of them, I’ve received to,’ ” Gasso mentioned. “I believe we’re doing a reasonably good job of that. We simply have to play longer video games. … I wish to play seven innings.

“In the event you’ve received seven pitchers and also you’re taking part in 5-inning video games, it’s simply exhausting to increase a few of these arms the way in which we have to. So in a bizarre method, it’s damage us. I’m not complaining — however we’re extending their arms at follow. Now we have to, as a result of they should get these innings.”

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