NORMAN — This will be Becca Carden’s second trip to Norman for NCAA softball regional.
The first was while a player at Arkansas.
Then, the Razorbacks were joined by Tulsa, Oregon and the host Sooners.
She’s back again, this time as an assistant coach with the Boston University Terriers.
“It’s pretty cool,” Carden said Wednesday, May 16, via phone as the team was on the road heading to Norman.
“I never thought I would be going in to play the home team in my home state,” she said. “Just the fact that it’s OU and growing up watching them play, it’s fun to actually be on their field.”
Tulsa (33-23) faces Missouri at 3:30 p.m., then the two-time defending national champion Sooners — 50-3 and the No. 4 overall seed — tackles BU at 6:30 p.m.
One of Oklahoma’s three losses was a 4-3 setback against the Terriers in February at the Troy Cox Classic at Las Cruces, New Mexico.
“It was huge then and they were ranked No. 1 at the time,” Carden said, who in her third season at Boston. “We were pretty happy with the outcome. That’s what’s so fun about this game: you never know who can win. You just show up and play.”
Senior Kaitlin Sahlinger delivered what proved to be the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly to center that allowed junior Alexa Ponce from third in the sixth inning.
Boston, coached by Ashley Waters, won the Patriot League championship with an 8-0 win over Lehigh.
“We have a freshman (Ali DuBois) who has really stepped up in the latter half of the season,” Carden said. “She was the rookie of the year and pitcher of the year for the Patriot League.”
Carden, a 2006 MHS graduate, earned all-state honors in softball, basketball and soccer.
She had a .517 career batting average for the Lady Wardogs while collecting 75 hits and scoring 43 runs as a three-year letter winner.
She earned NJCAA All-American honors while patrolling the outfield for hall of famer Eric Iverson at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
Carden hit .450 on a Lady Norse team that finished fourth at the NJCAA national tournament.
She earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors at Arkansas.
Carden played with the Women’s Major Softball national champion Stratford Brakettes.
Carden was an assistant for three seasons at Harvard before joining the Terriers.