Oklahoma Sooners win fourth national softball championship in last eight years
The Oklahoma Sooners are once again Women’s College World Series champions.
On Thursday, Oklahoma beat Florida State 5-1 as the Sooners claimed their fifth national championship – and fourth in the last eight years.
This was the 14th WCWS appearance for the Sooners, who were the top overall seed heading into the tournament, while FSU entered as a 10-seed.
Oklahoma has come a long way since losing to unseeded James Madison University in the tournament's opening game on June 3. Since then, the Sooners have had an almost perfect run, winning six of their last seven games. The Sooners beat JMU twice in the semifinal round to advance, and they recovered from an 8-4 loss to FSU in the championship series opener with back-to-back wins on Wednesday and Thursday.
Oklahoma (56-4) is the fourth team to go on to win the WCWS after dropping its first game of the tournament and the first to do so since Florida State in 2018. The Sooners are also the fourth team to win two straight to win the WCWS title are losing the first game of the championship series. The last team to pull off that feat was Alabama – against Oklahoma – in 2012.
USA Softball’s Collegiate Player of the Year Jocelyn Alo got things started for Oklahoma when she homered to left field in the first inning – her 34th home run of the season – to put the Sooners up 1-0. Freshman Jayda Coleman followed suit with a homer in the second inning, extending Oklahoma's lead to 2-0.
In the third inning, Kalei Harding scored for Florida State when Oklahoma's Tiare Jennings lost a popup in the sun, but the Sooners quickly answered with three runs of their own. With two outs and the bases loaded, Jennings scored on a wild pitch by Seminoles freshman reliever Emma Wilson, then Coleman hit a line drive off the left-field wall that brought in two more runs, giving Oklahoma a 5-1 lead. That would end up being the final score.
Oklahoma's Giselle Juarez went the distance, allowing just one run on two hits. She has allowed four runs in 31 1/3 innings throughout the tournament, with 38 strikeouts, eight walks and a 0.89 ERA. She was named Most Outstanding Player.
The Sooners have dominated all season with arguably the best offense in Division I softball history, leading some to ponder whether Oklahoma was the greatest softball team of all time.
Oklahoma's five championships are the third-most behind UCLA (12) and Arizona (8).
Here are the top takes from Thursday's championship game.