By Wendell Barnhouse | email@example.comBig12Sports.com Correspondent
For Oklahoma and Texas, the magic number is two.
The Sooners and the Longhorns are each two victories away from advancing to the Women's College World Series. Both teams host super regionals, which use a two-out-of-three format. Oklahoma and Texas each went 3-0 to win home-field regionals and advance to this round.
The top-seeded Sooners (47-4) will face No. 16 Texas A&M (42-16) at 6 p.m. Thursday in Norman. Game Two will be Friday, followed by a Game Three, if necessary.
The fourth-seeded Longhorns (47-8) will take on unseeded Florida State (44-17) at 8 p.m. Friday. Game Two will be Saturday afternoon, followed by a Game Three, if necessary.
Oklahoma reached the WCWS last season and was defeated in the best-of-three championship by Alabama. The Aggies, a former Big 12 Conference foe, now in the Southeastern Conference, stands in the way of the Sooners making a return trip to Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma and Texas A&M have a long history dating back to 1977. The teams had met every year since 1994 prior to the conference realignment. The softball super regional is the third time in the last six months the schools have battled; they met in December in men's basketball and in early January in the Cotton Bowl.
OU senior Keilani Ricketts and sophomore Lauren Chamberlain are two of the three finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Softball Player of the Year Award, considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women's collegiate softball. Ricketts won the award last year.
It's the first time that teammates were among the top three since UCLA's Stacey Nuveman and Natasha Watley accomplished the feat in 2002.
Texas is facing a team that advanced thanks to "The Miracle In Mobile." Unseeded Florida State trailed No. 13 seed South Alabama 6-1 with two outs in the seventh inning but scored five runs to force extra innings then won in the eighth inning.
The Longhorns, though, also have momentum. After disappointing NCAA tournaments the last three years, UT avoided drama by rolling to three victories in the regional. The last time Texas swept a regional was 2006 – also the last year it reached the WCWS.Norman Super Regional
6 p.m. Thursday: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma (ESPN)
3 p.m. Friday: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma (ESPNU)
6 p.m. Friday*: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma (ESPN)
* - If necessary.How they got here:
No. 1 seed Oklahoma won the Norman Regional, sweeping all three games by the combined score of 41-6. No. 16 seed Texas A&M hosted the College Station Regional and needed to triumph in a winner-take-all game to advance. The Aggies defeated Baylor 8-0 in the decisive game.Oklahoma update:
The Sooners are hosting a super regional for the third time (the format was first used in 2005). … Oklahoma has won four straight Super Regional games, sweeping Arizona in Tucson in 2011 and again in Norman last season. … OU holds a 43-30 edge in the series with Texas A&M and haswon eight of the last 10 meetings. The teams have met seven teams in postseason action. Oklahoma is 4-1 against Texas A&M in Big 12 Tournament play, and the Sooners also took two games in the 2002 NCAA Regional. … Sophomore Lauren Chamberlain is the nation's leader in four separate individual categories, while no other player leads in more than two statistical categories. In addition to leading in slugging percentage (1.110), Chamberlain also tops the country in home runs per game (0.50), runs scored per game (1.41) and runs batted in per game (1.43).Texas A&M update:
The Aggies were upset in last year's super regional by LSU. … Sophomore Lauren Ainsley threw a two-hitter in A&M's five-inning victory over Baylor to win the College Station Regional. … Texas A&M was 10-13 in its first season in the Southeastern Conference. … All-American Mel Dumezich, the team's top pitcher, has been struggling with a rotator cuff injury. She allowed 26 hits to Baylor in 13 innings. … The Aggies lead Division I with 101 home runs; Oklahoma is second with 86. Texas A&M has seven players with 10 or more homers, led by Cali Lanphear's 20.What's next:
The winner advances to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.Austin Super Regional
8 p.m. Friday: Florida State vs. Texas (ESPNU)
2 p.m. Saturday: Florida State vs. Texas (ESPN)
5 p.m. Saturday*: Florida State vs. Texas (ESPN)
*- If necessary.Texas update:
The Longhorns swept through the NCAA Regional round for the first time since 2006, the last time Texas made an appearance in the Women's College World Series. … UT's offense was dominant in three victories. The Longhorns hit. .352, slugged .606 and posted a .402 on-base percentage. … The Longhorns' 47-8 record is the program's third best through 55 games and the best since going 49-6 in 2006. … Junior shortstop Taylor Thom has a team-record 63 RBI. … Senior third baseman Taylor Hoagland is second in Division I on-base percentage at .626.Florida State update:
The Seminoles are the only Atlantic Coast Conference team still in the tournament. … Florida State softball is making its 14th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, putting it in a class of just 11 teams that have made the postseason every year since 2000. … Juniors Courtney Senas and Kelly Hensley are the first FSU teammates since 2007 to each have 100 or more total bases in a season. Senas has 123 total bases while Hensley has 109. Senas has 14 homers and 52 RBI while Hensley has 13 homers and 54 RBI. … Sophomore Lacey Waldrop (24-9, 1.50 ERA) and senior Monica Perry (19-8, 1.95) have been effective in the circle.How they got here:
No. 4 seed Texas won the Austin Regional, taking three games by the combined score of 22-2. Unseeded Florida State rallied to upset No. 13 seed South Alabama in the Mobile Regional. The Seminoles were down to their final out and trailed 6-1 but scored five runs to force extra innings and then won in the eighth inning to advance.What's next:
The winner advances to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.