The Texas softball team is well into the final stretch of its regular season.
The Longhorns, however, understand that the success they’ve had in the the first 37 games means little if they don’t finish.
Texas (27-10, 2-3) has 15 games left on its schedule and takes a seven-game winning streak into this weekend’s showdown with No. 9 Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.
The series, which was originally planned for single games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, will consist of a doubleheader Friday beginning at 3:45 p.m. and a single game on Saturday at 2 p.m., televised on ESPN2.
Texas head coach Connie Clark talked to her team this week about the need to finish strong and the importance of building a high RPI, which ultimately will be based on the Longhorns’ strength of schedule and play in its final 10 games.
“We want to stay on the attack and control the momentum in the game by staying aggressive and assertive in key situations,” Clark said. “We’ve played with a little more poise down the stretch in these games that we’ve won and we’ve been a little looser lately – I think the players were putting too much pressure on themselves.”
The Longhorns have enjoyed a rare stretch without a midweek game this week in the wake of this season’s series with the Sooners, who have won four of the last four games with Texas.
Oklahoma (31-7, 6-1) was the overall favorite to win the Big 12 in the preseason coaches poll.
“Every time we play Oklahoma is a huge game for us because of the rivalry between us and them,” said senior Stephanie Ceo. “They are a great team and we are a great team. We just have to play our game. It’s really important for us.”
We have to continue to get better and keep making adjustments and we have to stay together and work as a unit,” Ceo added. “t’s the last time I will get to play in Norman and I know we will all be giving all we have.”
Clark said Texas’ upperclassmen told their teammates who haven’t played at Oklahoma to expect just about anything fromSooner fans.
“We need to stay in our ‘Texas bubble’ because their fans will do some things to try to rile us up and we need to be focused on the task at hand – which is beating one of the best teams in the conference,” Clark said. “We just need to go with the flow and stay connected to our team and what we are trying to get done.”