OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s historic run through the softball season culminated with a 3-1 win over Florida State and a third straight national championship on Thursday night.
It was the Sooners’ NCAA-record 53rd consecutive victory. They became the first team to win back-to-back-to-back titles since UCLA in 1990.
“Right now what you feel from us is freedom. Because it was absolutely suffocating as we were going along, and the expectations were overwhelming,” Sooners coach Patty Gasso told ESPN. “But they handled it like champions, and that’s why we’re here right now.”
After falling behind 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Oklahoma’s prolific offense answered with back-to-back home runs off ACC Pitcher of the Year Kathryn Sandercock to start the fifth.
It was the first multiple-home run game for Sandercock since Feb. 19.
Oklahoma All-American pitcher Jordy Bahl then came out of the bullpen in relief of Alex Storako, who gave up one earned run and three hits in four innings, improving to 18-0. Bahl pitched three scoreless innings, securing her fourth save of the season.
Bahl, who is one of five First Team All-Americans on her team, scored two runs as a pinch runner during the Women’s College World Series.
She also threw 24 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings during the WCWS, which is the third most all-time behind Oklahoma State’s Amy Day (27 2/3 in 1994) and UCLA’s Lisa Fernandez (26 in 1992).
This is the Sooners’ sixth championship in the last 10 years and seventh overall. Only UCLA (12) and Arizona (8) have more championships.
The last time the Sooners lost was 109 days ago on Feb. 19. During their 53-game winning streak, they rattled off 23 wins vs. ranked opponents and posted an overall run differential of +371. This season, they set a program record with 35 shutouts, and never trailed by more than 3 runs at any point.
Oklahoma stated its case as the most complete team of all-time, leading the country in fielding percentage, batting average, home runs and earned run average. Four batters hit over .400. Three pitchers had an ERA of less than 1.00.
Oklahoma and coach Patty Gasso, who is responsible for all seven championships, will look to win four straight next year.
But it will have to do so without redshirt seniors Storako, Haley Lee and Grace Lyons.
The Sooners return all five All-Americans, however, in Bahl, center fielder Jayda Coleman, second baseman Tiara Jennings, third baseman Alyssa Brito and catcher Kinzie Hansen.
Florida State, which won the ACC, finishes the season with 58 wins – the most since the 2018 season when the Seminoles won the national championship.