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Four-peat complete, OU Softball claims eighth national title

OKLAHOMA CITY – There is only one softball program that can win four NCAA championships in a row.

The Sooners officially ended the most dominant four-year stretch in Division I history Thursday night with an 8-4 win over rival Texas in the Women’s College World Series.

The breakthrough came in Game Two of the best-of-three championship series in front of a crazy sold-out crowd of 12,324 at Devon Park.

OU has now won eight all-time national crowns and six of the last eight.

OU (59-7) and Texas (55-10) both threw by committee and used eight pitchers between them.

For the first 17 outs, the Sooners sent four pitchers to the circle.

Right-handed Karlie Keeney started, was relieved by Righty Paytn Monticelliwhich was followed by lefty Kierston dealand then right came Nicole May.

Monticelli made her first appearance since May 9 and only her fourth appearance since March. The transfer from Wisconsin got out of a bases-loaded jam with a grounder to first base.

May’s most recent appearance came in a 9-3 semifinal loss to Florida, in which she surrendered six hits and four runs (all earned) in the first 2.0 innings.

On this night, however, May performed commendably after starting in the top of the fifth. In 1.2 innings, she got one hit and struckout four of the seven batters she faced.

With two outs, runners on second and third base and OU clinging to a 5-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning, it was Kelly Maxwells play.

Maxwell would face just one batter in the sixth.

Mia Scott’s short-hop grounder to second base bounced back by Avery Hodge glove and Scott was initially safe.

After UT’s Joley Mitchell scored from third base to make it 5-4, Scott took two steps toward second while standing behind OU’s first baseman. Cydney Sanders.

Hodge still had the ball and quickly turned it to Sanders, who tagged out Scott to end the inning, leaving the tying run at third base.

UT’s final run was credited to May. Amazingly, it was the first run in relief May had allowed since February of her sophomore season.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Sooners offense scored three runs on three hits to double the Longhorns by a score of 8-4.

Maxwell, the tournament’s standout player, lined up the Texas hitters in the seventh to seal the deal.

The southpaw was joined by Kinzie Hansen, Tiare Jennings, Ella Parker And Kasidi Pickering on the WCWS All-Tournament team as part of a tournament that leads five OU squads.

Deal (14-1) earned the victory. UT pitcher Estelle Czech (8-4), who was one of two pitchers to beat the Sooners 2-1 in early April, took the loss.

Freshman outfielder Kasidi Pickering launched a two-run home run into opposite field to left in the bottom of the second inning to put OU up 2-1.

Texas tied the score at 2 in the third and took a 3–2 lead in the fourth. The Sooners took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth on four singles. An OU three-spot in the sixth provided the final insurance needed to secure the title.

 

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