Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

January 28, 2014

OSU, OU softball coaches headline sports museum luncheon

GUTHRIE — Softball coaches Patti Gasso of defending national champion Oklahoma and Rich Wieligman of Oklahoma State will be special guests at a Guthrie luncheon Thursday presenting the Oklahoma Sports Historian of the Year Award.

Presented by the Territorial Capital Sports Museum, the award will be presented Thursday at the museum to Oklahoma City authors Larry C. Floyd and Bill Plummer III for their 2013 book, “A Series of Their Own.” It chronicles the first 44 years of the women’s collegiate national softball championship.

“With the rich history of women’s college softball in the state, the annual NCAA championship event in Oklahoma City and now with a book telling this national story, we thought this luncheon would be a fitting occasion to recognize all of this,” said Richard Hendricks, executive director of the Territorial Capital Sports Museum, formerly the Oklahoma Sports Museum.

The award is the first of its kind presented by the sports museum, Hendricks said.

Increasingly asked to write in his business career, after earning a bachelor’s of arts in business from OSU, Floyd studied at the University of Central Oklahoma. Originally from Lawton, he graduated from UCO with a bachelor’s of arts in journalism in 1989 and obtained a master’s in history in 2010.

Both OU and OSU have fielded teams in the national championship series dating back to the 1970s. Oklahoma has competed in 12 women’s series events, including national titles in 2000 and 2013, while OSU has appeared in 11 national championship tournaments, including both the NCAA and AIAW events in 1982. Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva made its solo appearance in the national championship in 1976 in Omaha. Northwestern Oklahoma was the only state school represented in the national championship that year and entered the fray against larger schools like Michigan State, Nebraska and Arizona State.

“A Series of Their Own” narrates each of the national championships back to the first in Omaha in 1969. It guides readers through the tourneys up to the 2012 NCAA Division I National Championship won by Alabama. The competition is centered each year at the Women’s College World Series at Oklahoma City ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

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