While the main focus is on Oklahoma football's move to the SEC, this seismic change will have an impact across all of college sports. Softball is one such entity that will be drastically altered due to the arrival of the dynastic Sooners. Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy is doing what he can to prepare his soon-to-be conference foe for the electric atmosphere that awaits the reigning Women's College World Series Champions.
“It's just going to be a lot,” 2012 champ Murphy said ahead of the Crimson Tide's World Series battle against Stanford Friday night, via John E. Hoover of FanNation. “It's the grind of the SEC. Every weekend is like a World Series matchup. And you play three games, and it is tiring. And it is mentally exhausting.”
The gauntlet should not be a huge problem for No. 1 seed Oklahoma, who made history with a historically dominant 2023 season. The Sooners are nearly perfect at 57-1 and went undefeated in Big 12 play. The added competition should be good for the sport, the program and obviously the juggernaut that is the SEC.
Before they officially square off with Alabama softball and the rest that the league has to offer in 2024, Coach Patty Gasso and company are determined to leave the Big 12 with a grand parting gift, OU's third straight championship and fifth of the last eight years. Unsurprisingly, the team started their quest victoriously, 2-0, over No. 9 Stanford Thursday night. The next test will be Saturday afternoon against Tennessee.
With one loss already, No. 4 Alabama is fighting for its life. A potential clash with the Sooners would surely draw plenty of eyeballs to the 2023 Women's College World Series and be a fitting appetizer for what should be an intense rivalry starting next year.