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OU softball commits, Zache sisters, form a ‘winning combo’
Courtesy: Riley and Berkley Zache

OU softball commits, Zache sisters, form a ‘winning combo’

NORMAN, Okla. (BVM) – Oklahoma Sooner softball commits Riley and Berkley Zache share a unique bond as sisters. 

If you ask them a question about themselves, chances are they’ll glance at each other first and giggle. One will start to speak, and the other will finish the sentence. They may even share that they have matching tattoos of the “sun and the moon.” 

“The moon moves around the sun, but the sun brightens up the moon,” Riley said about why they got matching tattoos. “We need both things to exist.” 

Berkley and Riley Zache
OU softball commits Berkley Zache (left) and older sister Riley Zache (right).

Berkley, a pitcher, will graduate from Saint Joseph High School (Indiana) in the Class of 2025. Riley, a catcher utility, graduated in the Class of 2024 and is heading to OU for the upcoming 2025 college softball season. 

Berkley was the first to receive an offer from OU softball head coach Patty Gasso, but she wasn’t ready to commit until Riley was offered too.  

“Coach Gasso offered me, and so I thought the only thing missing is my sister,” Berkley said. “[Riley tagged along on my visit] and I thought, ‘If she offers Riley, I’m committing right now.’ So when she offered Riley, we both said ‘yes’ on the spot. We didn’t even talk to our parents.”

Riley noted, “(At OU), they were asking me questions, but they didn’t know I de-committed (from Missouri earlier in the week since it didn’t feel like home anymore). Coach Gasso was asking me questions and I said, ‘I actually de-committed this week from the Tigers.’ And she was like, ‘Oh, so how would you feel about becoming a Sooner with your sister?’”  

The sun and the moon aligned for the Zache sisters, but it almost went a completely different way for Sooner softball fans.    

“We were corresponding with North Carolina State at the time and they were kind of my No. 2 school,” Berkley said. “I was like, ‘If OU doesn’t offer Riley, I’ll go to NC State just to be with her.’ [Even prior], I didn’t feel like Missouri felt like home even when Riley went on her visit. But if that was where she was going to be, I was willing to go there just to be with her. Going to school with her is really my dream.”

Riley agreed that “the golden thing was to be together and Oklahoma made it work.” 

Riley and Berkley softball
Berkley and Riley Zache started playing softball together around 3-5 years old.

Receiving offers from the consecutive four-time national champions speaks volumes about the talent in the Zache bloodline. Riley batted .516 during her senior season with 26 of her 49 hits going for extra bases, including a team-best 10 home runs. She also led the Huskies in triples (seven), RBIs (43) and runs scored (38) while also tying Berkley for the team lead in doubles (nine). Berkley is a right-handed flamethrower, who as a junior ace posted an 11-2 record with a minuscule 0.08 ERA. She struck out 201 batters in 91 innings pitched (just over two strikeouts an inning). 

The pitcher-catcher duo is competitive but never against each other. When asked, “Who is the better sister?” they respond, “You can try and turn us against each other, but we’ll always find a way to pin the loss on ourselves rather than the other sister.” 

Oklahoma softball will be on the quest for a fifth consecutive national championship when Riley joins for the 2025 season, and hopefully a sixth title by the time Berkley joins in 2026. 

“Part of me being a utility, I can be competitive in any position,” Riley said. “Anywhere coach needs me, I can go. I can pitch, hold my own hitting and get the clutch hit in a big pressure moment.”

Berkley noted, “I feel like I can really bring my pitching and my hitting to the OU program. I hit, and their big thing was ‘We love pitchers who can hit.’” 

Riley and Berkley expressed their excitement about attending their dream school – adding that they are relieved they won’t have to face the possibility of playing against each other. 

“I (Riley) was at a camp during a visit and the coach who put us against each other said, ‘Riley, you’re going to hit against Berkley,’ and I said ‘No, I’m not.’ So I literally said, ‘Fine, I’ll just strike out.’ So I watched as three fastballs went by. I would rather jeopardize an opportunity for myself than have to potentially hurt her. Normally, I hit the ball in the middle so I didn’t want to risk it. 

“She’s my sister, and my sister is far more important than a scholarship will ever be,” Riley continued. 

The Zache sisters acknowledged they always play better when they are together. 

“I always say we’re two different parts of one brain,” Riley said. “Together, we form a winning combo.”  

Riley will have to wait a year for Berkley to join the Sooners, but in the meantime, they’ll have “the ghost of each other” guiding them on the field. 

Riley says Berkley’s strength is that “she’s very stoic and hardly shows any emotion – high or low, you can’t tell the difference.”

“If I were to say one weakness about Berkley, it’s that she puts the weight of the world on her shoulders,” Riley said. “But she doesn’t need to. We play for a good team, and the team is there to take off the weight.”

Berkley says Riley’s strength is that “she’s super versatile. If you need her anywhere on the field, she’ll do it.”

“If I were to also say a weakness about Riley, it’s that she’s very critical of herself,” Berkley said. “But she’s doing good and needs to stop thinking that she’s doing something wrong.” 

Outside of softball, the Zache sisters will spend plenty of time together studying since they want to go into pre-med. Berkley enjoys orthopedics and wants to become a veterinarian for large animals. Riley is interested in biomedical engineering and is considering medical school to earn her MD in the distant future.

Overall, Riley and Berkley want to be recognized as “the sisters,” and they want Sooner softball fans to know they are their best versions when they are together. 

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