Knoxville, Tenn--(UT Sports) No. 10 national seed Tennessee takes on No. 7 seed Oklahoma in a rematch of last year’s epic Women’s College World Series Championship Series as the Lady Vols and the Sooners square off in the Norman Super Regionals from May 23-24 at Marita Hynes Field.
Friday's 7 p.m. ET Game 1 of the Norman Super Regional will be televised on ESPN2. Game 2 will be on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN with Game 3 (if necessary) at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Beth Mowins will be the play-by-play announcer with Jessica Mendoza providing analysis. Fans can also listen live to Brian Rice on WNML 990 AM for all Norman Super Regional games. SoonerSports.com will host live stats for all three games.
Tennessee (45-10) is coming off an impressive run through the Knoxville Regional, going 3-0, and outscoring Charleston Southern, Virginia Tech and Lipscomb by a combined score of 26-3. UT set several records last week in the NCAA Regionals. The Lady Vols’ 12 runs in its wins against Charleston Southern (May 16) and Virginia Tech (May 17) set and tied a new program record for most Tennessee runs in NCAA Tournament play. UT’s 12-run margin of victory against Virginia Tech was its largest in school history in NCAA Tourney play. The Lady Vols belted a school-record six homers in its win over the Hokies and its eight-run first inning against Charleston Southern tied for the most runs it has ever scored in a single inning in NCAA Tournament play.
Freshman Annie Aldrete tied the Tennessee single-season home run record with two homers against Virginia Tech on May 17, giving her 19 on the year to match Lauren Gibson's single-season record set in 2013. Senior Madison Shipman hit a home run against the Hokies to give her 18 homers on the year, one away from tying the record as well.
This week's NCAA Super Regional matchup against Oklahoma (48-10) marks the Lady Vols' seventh trip to the Super Regionals. UT advanced to the Women's College World Series in each of its previous six trips to Supers. The Norman Super Regional will be UT's third road Super Regional, following the 2005 Palo Alto Supers and the 2010 Ann Arbor Supers. Tennessee is 12-3 all-time in Super Regional games and this is the school's first road Super Regional since 2010.
This year's Super Regional matchup marks the second-straight year and the third time that Tennessee will face the defending national champion in the Supers. In 2006, Tennessee defeated 2005 National Champion Michigan in three games in Knoxville. In 2013, UT topped 2012 champ Alabama in two games in Knoxville.
Senior ace Ellen Renfroe currently has 995 career strikeouts entering this week's games, five more would make her just the second Tennessee pitcher to reach 1,000, joining legend and NCAA record-holder Monica Abbott (2,440 from 2004-07).
The 2014 Norman Super Regional is also a rematch of the 2013 Women's College World Series Championship Series. The Lady Vols and the Sooners gave fans one of the most thrilling games in softball history in Game 1 of the title series on June 4, 2013. In a pitcher's duel between Renfroe and Keilani Ricketts, Madison Shipman ended a long stalemate with a three-run homer in the top of the 11th inning. OU answered with three runs in the bottom of the 11th and two more in the bottom of the 12th off a walk-off homer by Lauren Chamberlain that gave the Sooners a 5-3 win.
Tennessee is 3-2 all-time vs. Oklahoma, winning the first three meetings between the teams (two in 2009, one in 2010) before playing the Sooners for the national championship in the 2013 Women’s College World Series.
Oklahoma defeated Bryant and Texas A&M twice in the Norman Regional, outscoring the Bulldogs and the Aggies by a combined score of 34-18. The Sooners dodged a near upset to Texas A&M on May 17, rallying with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 9-8 win and remain in the winner's bracket.