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Softball home opener rescheduled because of winter weather

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Whitney Ellis

Junior catcher and infielder Whitney Ellis makes contact with the ball against Liberty University on March 7 at Marita Hynes Field. The Sooners beat the Eagles 18-3. 

The OU softball team was set to host its home opener this weekend before a forecast of cold and snowy weather caused the program to relocate the tournament.

“We were excited to open at home this weekend — [considering] being on the road the past three weeks — but with the inclement weather that’s coming, it was important for us to still get these games in,” assistant coach Melyssa Lombardi said. 

The tournament has been moved to Houston, Texas, at the Scrap Yard. Coach Patty Gasso said she was adamant in finding another place to play for her team, believing they ought to play every game they can right now.

“We were proactive in finding another place to play because especially in this part of the season you don’t want to give up games or games that you feel you have a good chance to win,” said Gasso.

The Scrap Yard is a private sports facility near The Woodlands, Texas. Coach Gasso said she is optimistic about the location.

“Everything that I have heard is that it’s a phenomenal facility,” Gasso said. She also said it will be the first time that the Sooners will have played on an all-turf field.

OU will be hungry for wins this weekend, coming off the two tough losses last weekend to No. 15 Arizona and No. 8 Georgia. But this team knows it’s a long season, and they need to continue to compete.

“Those experiences at the beginning, whether it’s winning a big game or losing a big game, [are] definitely going to prepare you for the end of the year,” Lombardi said when asked about how the team will handle losing to two teams ranked among the top 15.

The Sooners will play four games over the weekend, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. The team will open Saturday against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne at 3:00 pm, before taking on North Texas at 5:15 pm. On Sunday, they will play IPFW again at 10:00 am, followed by North Texas at 12:15 pm.

IPFW is winless this season at 0-9, but the Sooners said they will not take them lightly.

“No matter what, you can’t take a game off against any team,” senior Jessica Vest said. 

North Texas, 5-9 this season, was originally scheduled to play at Tulsa for the weekend, but once the Tulsa tournament was canceled due to weather, they were able to make arrangements to play this weekend in Houston.

With the schedule change, the Sooners’ home opener is now scheduled for the following weekend, on March 7.

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