After winning a national championship, the Oklahoma softball players say they’re taking a business-like approach into a new season.
It won’t take long to find out if that’s true.
A unanimous preseason No. 1 as voted by the coaches, the Sooners are in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to face No. 2 Auburn at 1 p.m. Thursday. It’s a groundbreaking tournament, not only due to the location, but it’s also the first time the previous season’s last two teams standing will open the following season against one another.
Among other things, Sooner coach Patty Gasso is excited the game will be on national television, on ESPNU, in the middle of the college basketball season.
“We committed to go to that tournament, but I didn’t know who else was going to be in it,” Gasso said. “Then, I saw the field and I was like, ‘I don’t want to be in this anymore.’ But, you know what? It’s good for our sport. I don’t know that we’ve ever been televised in February. The matchup has everybody excited.”
The veteran coach wants to make the most of the trip. That doesn’t mean simply getting four wins. A few Sooners have never been out of the country. She wants them to enjoy Puerto Vallarta.
“One of our themes this year as a coaching staff is getting this team outside of their comfort zone,” Gasso said. “My plan is to give them pesos instead of dollars. We’re going to take a city bus and experience what that is like. I don’t know if they have ever been on a bus with live animals on it, and things like that. Just the culture, we’re going to do…