OU softball defeats Texas in the WCWS finals to win its fourth straight NCAA title

OU’s exciting senior class leaves on a high note.

One of the Sooners’ juniors came up with the biggest play of the game as Sidney Sanders hit a triple-double in the fourth and OU hung in there as the Sooners won their fourth consecutive Women’s College World Series title with an 8-4 win over Texas Thursday at Devon Park.

The Sooners finished the season 59-7. Over the past four seasons, OU was 235-15.

“The great thing about them is they’re resilient,” Sooners coach Patty Gasso said. “They are very proud of that. It’s hard for me to understand that. I keep saying this was the hardest thing to manage. We lost a lot in the summer. The players through the portal have brought in some great players.” “.

Just over a month ago, it looked like the Sooners were still a long way from being a championship-caliber team.

OU lost its first two games of the Bedlam series as it finished second in the Big 12 for the first time in more than a decade.

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But an 8-2 win over Oklahoma State on May 5 started to turn things around.

From that point on, the Sooners looked more like their old selves, winning 14 of 15, winning the program’s eighth national title and solidifying Gasso’s place among the best coaches in sports history.

OU is tied for second with Arizona with eight titles. UCLA won twelve.

Gasso is tied with legendary Arizona coach Mike Candrea for the most national titles as head coach.

The Theooners entered the season on an NCAA-record winning streak and kept it going, winning their first 18 before falling to Louisiana on March 3 to close out their opening weekend at Love’s Field.

The Theooners dropped a three-game series to the Longhorns in early April as the offense scored just one point in back-to-back games.

Even more surprising, OU fell to BYU 9-4 at home on April 12.

Then they lost their first two games to Oklahoma State.

But the Sooners turned the corner and rallied around their senior class, even as freshmen Ella Parker and Cassidy Pickering continued to make big strides.

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They did that again on Thursday, as Pickering delivered a two-run homer in the second inning and Parker a two-run single in the sixth to help the Sooners win the title again.

Once Sanders gave the Sooners the lead, OU relied on its bullpen.

Nicole Maye – part of that impressive senior class that also includes Kenzie Hansen, Jaida Coleman, Tiari Jennings and Riley Boone – came in and kept the Longhorns off balance with her changeup before getting into foul trouble in the sixth.

Then it was time for Jasso to call on Kelly Maxwell.

Maxwell got the final four out and grounded Katie Stewart to third base to end the inning, sparking celebration on the field and in the stands.

“I’m grateful to be a part of this,” Maxwell said. “We have been through a lot this year.”

Here are two more quick insights from the win:

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Patti Jasso follows an unconventional presentation plan

After Kelly Maxwell threw a total of 167 pitches in 15 innings the previous two days, Sooners coach Patty Jaso gave Maxwell a break on Thursday.

I thought Nicole May or Kierston Dell, who have played 35 games together this season, would get the call.

Instead, Jasso went with Liberty transfer Carly Kenney.

Kenney had pitched just one inning against the Longhorns in the Sooners’ five games against them this season, pitching a scoreless inning in an April 6 loss in Austin.

Keeney had pitched just a third of an inning in the WCWS and allowed one hit in Monday’s loss to Florida.

Her last start came in the regular season finale, a 6 ⅔ win over Oklahoma State.

Kenney was far from perfect on Thursday, but she helped the Sooners stay in it.

She ultimately gave up two runs in two innings before giving way to Payten Monticelli — who hasn’t pitched since May 9 against Kansas.

Jasso then finished with Dale in fourth place before switching to May and eventually Kelly Maxwell.

This marked the first time in WCWS Championship Series history that a team used five pitchers.

“That’s why this is one of the most fun games I’ve ever participated in,” Jasso said.

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Texas makes a big mistake when the game is on the line

It looked like the Longhorns had an excellent chance to tie or take the lead in the sixth inning when Mia Scott hit a bunt to pull Texas within one and gave them runners on the corners when Viviana Martinez came to the plate .

But Scott pivoted to second and tried to push the Sooners into a dilapidated roster position that could record a tying run.

OU second baseman Avery Hodge reacted very quickly, however, as he quickly turned the ball to Sanders for the third out of the inning.

“No one is feeling worse right now than Mia Scott,” Longhorns coach Mike White said. “Everything happens for a reason. She’s shy. That’s part of her fighting style and that’s what she does. … It was a big moment in that match. Everybody knows that. She really beat herself up. I know that she is. I hope she learns from it.” who is that.”

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