2023 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

Mary Nutter College Classic 2023 Features OU Softball Vs. UCLA Softball

Mary Nutter College Classic 2023 Features OU Softball Vs. UCLA Softball

The 2023 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic features a much anticipated matchup between Oklahoma softball and UCLA softball.

Feb 6, 2023 by Joe Harrington
Mary Nutter College Classic 2023 Features OU Softball Vs. UCLA Softball

When the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic schedule was revealed late last year, one matchup stood out from the rest. 

Oklahoma Vs. UCLA on the final day of the event. 

Oklahoma enters the season trying to become the second program in the sport to win three consecutive championships. The only softball program to accomplish that feat is the program that has won the most championships, been to the WCWS the most, and won the most NCAA Tournament games ever: UCLA. 

The matchup will be between the two teams who many college softball experts view as the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nations to begin the season. 

Here’s what to know about OU softball vs. UCLA Softball at the 2023 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. 

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The only blemish on the 2022 Oklahoma softball team’s resume is that they lost a game in the NCAA Tournament. 

The Sooners won their first 38 games of the season before losing to Texas in Austin, 4-2. They didn’t lose again until a bout against ‌Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game. The No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, Oklahoma outscored opponents 37-2 in the NCAA Regionals. 

In the NCAA Super Regionals, Oklahoma beat UCF in two games by a combined score of 15-1 as the Sooners advanced to the Women’s College World Series. 

Once there, Oklahoma was 2-0 after lopsided wins over Northwestern (13-2) and Texas (7-2). 

That set up a matchup with UCLA. 

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The Bruins went 43-8 in the regular season and 19-5 in the Pac-12. UCLA finished second in the Pac-12 standings to Arizona State. 

But once in the NCAA Tournament, the Bruins crushed their way through the NCAA Regionals, out-scoring opponents 28-3 in the NCAA Super Regional. UCLA beat Duke in back-to-back games to advance to the WCWS. After dropping the first WCWS game to Texas 7-2, UCLA won back-to-back games to set up a national semifinal matchup with Oklahoma. 

The Bruins stunned the eventual champions 7-3 in the first game as Maya Brady hit two home runs and drove in five runs. 

But Oklahoma responded in the second game of the double-header. They bashed UCLA 15-0 as National Player of the Year Jocelyn Alo went 4-for-4 and hit a pair of home runs herself. 

UCLA Softball Returns Bulk Of Lineup, OU Still Has Tiare Jennings

The Bruins return many of the top players that helped them push OU softball to the brink in 2022. 

Pitcher Megan Faraimo is back, the 2022 Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year who has been a finalist for National Player of the Year the last two seasons. Faraimo has won more than 50 games in her career and enters the season seventh on UCLA’s all-time strikeout list. 

She returns with Brady, who hit two home runs off Oklahoma last season and was an All-American.

But while Oklahoma may have lost Alo to graduation, the Sooners are still loaded. Tiare Jennings has been historically great for OU in his first two seasons and the junior enters the season as the favorite to win National Player of the Year. Jennings was second on OU in home runs in 2022, but that was still good enough to be third in the nation. 

OU also has two of the sport’s best pitchers in Nicole May and star sophomore Jordy Bahl—the latter lived up to the hype as a freshman after being the 2020-2021 Gartorade National Player of the Year in high school. 

UCLA Softball Vs. OU Softball: History Of Two Powerhouse Programs

The two programs would be considered two of the sports’ “blue blood” softball programs. 

UCLA was one of the first dynasty softball programs and won five NCAA titles in the 1980s, four in the 1990s and three from 2003-2010. But then the program went from 2011-2018 without a title—its longest drought since the program was founded in 1975. 

UCLA won the 2019 WCWS for its 12th title, the most all-time. 

Oklahoma, meanwhile, has become one of the most dominant softball programs in the country under coach Patty Gasso, who enters her 29th season as coach. Since 2000, Oklahoma has won six national championships, including five since 2013. 

OU has been especially dominant in Big 12 play, having won 10 conference titles in a row—while having not lost a conference series in that time—and enters 2023 looking for its 11th Big 12 title. 

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Since 2000, UCLA is 7-6 all-time against the Sooners. The two programs have split their last 10 games. 

Have OU Softball & UCLA Ever Played At The Mary Nutter Classic?


Aside from 2022’s Mark Campbell Invitational (a 4-1 OU win) and the seven times they’ve played each other in the NCAA Tournament or WCWS, the rest of the series matchups have come at Mary Nutter. 

The 2023 game will be the first the two schools have played each other at the event since 2019. 

The two programs have played five times at Mary Nutter, with UCLA holding a 3-2 advantage at the event. UCLA beat OU 7-1 in 2019, while the Sooners last beat UCLA at Mary Nutter in 2017, when they won 10-1 in five innings.