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A rendering showing a stadium with the words "Devon Park, Welcome to the Softball Capitol of the World."

Shrum, OSU alumni speak at Devon Park rebranding of world-renowned softball stadium in Oklahoma City

Friday, May 10, 2024

Media Contact: Jordan Bishop | Editor, Department of Brand Management | 405-744-7193 |

Oklahoma State University’s softball team has made annual trips to the Women’s College World Series over the last several years.

It has become a home away from home for the Cowgirls. And now, that home has a new name. 

The USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex became Devon Park earlier this week after Devon Energy bought the naming rights to the stadium in north Oklahoma City.

OSU President Kayse Shrum, who played softball at Connors State College, spoke about the importance of the sport in her career.

“The leadership skills I gained through teammates and coaches are what made me the leader I am today,” Dr. Shrum said. “That determination, discipline and compassion I have used throughout my career. Whether that was as a practicing pediatrician or the first female president of a research university in the state of Oklahoma, I know the value of softball.

“I know the value that it played in my life, and I'm so pleased to see companies like Devon Energy investing in women's sports so that for generations to come, young girls are inspired to learn the skills they need to be successful in life.”

Devon President and CEO Rick Muncrief is an OSU alumnus, graduating from OSU in 1980 with a degree in petroleum engineering technology. While at OSU, Muncrief was a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He was also given the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2021.

“When female athletes enter the workplace, they already have experience leading under pressure and engaging in strategic problem solving,” Muncrief said. “Data tells us sports participation helps propel women into successful careers, which we’ve seen at Devon. In fact, many of our female executives played sports at some point in their lives. Our hope is many more young people will be inspired to pursue their goals with the same passion and excellence they see displayed on the field at Devon Park.”

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt spoke about Devon Park’s impact on Oklahoma City. The complex opened in 1987 and hosts not only the WCWS, but also the Phillips 66 Big 12 Softball Championship, Oklahoma City Spark games, OSSAA Softball State Championships and the Olympic tryouts for USA Softball’s Women’s National Team. It underwent a $27.5 million renovation in recent years and seats more than 13,000.

“Thanks to our investments in the venue and the events that venue has attracted, Oklahoma City is the Softball Capital of the World,” Holt said. “This has real value for our city. Each year, over 190,000 people come from outside OKC to enjoy softball and they bring with them an annual economic impact of $50 million. This partnership between Devon and USA Softball maintains and supports this continued success.”

Michele Smith, a Cowgirl softball alumna, emceed the event, which included speeches from USA Softball CEO Craig Cress, Oklahoma City Councilwoman Nikki Nice, University of Oklahoma President Joseph Harroz Jr. and OU softball coach Patty Gasso.

Smith, a 2011 member of the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame, received her bachelor's degree in health and wellness in 1990. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, she discussed softball's impact on her life.

“I'm a testament of hard work, learning and understanding of leadership and just giving back. I'm just so grateful for where we are today,” Smith said. “Thank you so much to Devon Energy for your commitment to women. Thank you, USA Softball, for all the people involved. There are so many people who make this happen for really young girls all over, not just the country but the world, who will come to play in this amazing environment in Devon Park and make their dreams come true.”

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