Quick Bit: The Sporting News looks at how the Sooners racked up a 54-2 record heading into the Women’s College World Series.

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Move aside 73-9 Golden State Warriors, there’s a new dominant team seeking a repeat in town.

After winning the Women’s College World Series last year, the Oklahoma softball team has put together an utterly ridiculous 2022 season. At 54-2, the top-seeded Sooners will try to defend their crown beginning June 2 in Oklahoma City when they face No. 9 seed Northwestern.

Oklahoma has been nothing short of spectacular this season, powered by shutdown pitching and an outstanding offense. Its three-person pitching staff of Hope Trautwein, Jordy Bahl, and Nicole May is an absolute Ghidorah of a three-headed monster, and they have proven to be nearly unhittable. Add that to Oklahoma’s seven hitters with an OPS over 1.000 and you have the most dominant team in the country.

Here are seven numbers that highlight how utterly dominant Oklahoma softball has been this year:

467

Perhaps readers are wondering what softball number 467 could possibly be. That would be the Sooners’ run differential this season. Oklahoma has scored 515 runs this season, while opponents have posted 48.

It’s a staggering difference to think about, and it must make playing against the Sooners utterly demoralizing.

0.80

This is the cumulative team ERA of the Oklahoma pitching staff. Three pitchers have thrown for Oklahoma this year: Hope Trautwein, Jordy Bahl, and Nicole May. Trautwein has posted the best ERA in the country at 0.40, whereas Bahl and May are both under 1.00. Trautwein is 18-1 on the year, Bahl 21-1, and May 15-0.

Oklahoma has ridden the arms of these three all season, and because the softball pitching motion inflicts less stress on the arm, it hasn’t had to expand its pitching staff this year.

38

In order to understand the number 38, readers must first know softball’s “run rule.”

The run rule is a mercy rule, in which a game is called if a team is up eight-plus runs after five innings.

Oklahoma has reached that threshold in a record 38 of its 56 games, including a 20-0, five-inning demolition of Texas A&M to clinch a super regional spot. When your run differential is 467 in 56 games, it’s going to lead to a lot of truncated victories. That was certainly the case this season.

40

The Sooners’ top win streak this year was a ridiculous 40 games. It’s the third-longest streak in NCAA Division I softball history. Oklahoma tied its own record and was a game behind itself for second place. Arizona holds the record with 47 consecutive wins.

The 40-game streak was snapped by Texas on April 16 in a 4-2 loss, a rare off day for the Oklahoma bats.

.497/.634/1.163

Is it cheating to use a slash line as one number? Maybe a little. But Jocelyn Alo probably won’t mind.

Those numbers are the batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage of the outfielder Alo, who has been the best player in the country this season. She leads the team with 29 home runs, is tied for the lead at 72 RBI, and has 171 total bases this year.

Alo is the quintessential softball hitter, and it translates to her stat line. She’s impossible to pitch to, and to make matters worse, she’s insulated by a lineup full of players with an OPS above or approaching 1.000.

7

Oklahoma’s pitching staff has seven no-hitters this year, making it a borderline boring occurrence for the team. In addition to those no-hitters, the team has thrown 32 shutouts this year, so it’s almost expected at this point.

.369

Oklahoma’s team batting average this year is .369, which puts the Sooners as a team above Ty Cobb for the best batting average of all time if we look at MLB player careers. Nine players are over .300 for the year for Oklahoma softball.

Oklahoma will look to carry this dominance into the College World Series as it seeks its second straight championship. The dominance is clear, and it feels like it would take a huge fluke to derail this juggernaut.

Originally found on Sporting News Read More

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