Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo is the most feared batter in College Softball and for good reason. She is tied with former Sooner Lauren Chamberlain atop the list for career home runs in NCAA Softball history with 95 dingers.
Alo was set to break the record this weekend over a five-game stretch in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic this weekend, but that history-changing blast never came. Alo had hit five home runs in the last three games coming into the weekend, but the big one eluded her all weekend long. Why?
Alo was walked 10 times this weekend, doubling up her five BBs prior to the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. She appeared at home plate 19 times and walked more than half of the time, pointing to her unique ability to put the ball where outfielders can’t get it.
Clearly, this was a frustrating situation for Alo, her teammates, and fans. This was supposed to be the weekend that she took sole possession of the most coveted batter statistic in the NCAA record book. However, it seems that nobody at the tournament this weekend was willing to be the team that gave up No. 96.
Tim Keown of ESPN wrapped up the weekend perfectly in his piece on Alo on Sunday evening.
“Oklahoma won all five games and Alo’s weekend was a fever dream of advanced metrics: 3 for 8 with 10 walks, one hit by pitch, and roughly 1,200 feet of foul balls. The .737 on-base percentage over five games would be remarkable for just about anyone but her. The only way it could be perceived as a failure is by someone who was there solely to see her break the record. (Guilty.)
“Through each of those 19 plate appearances, Alo showed no strain. She hit second, third and — in the final game — leadoff, and none of it proved tempting enough to invoke a challenge. She rarely chased out of the zone and took her walks because they were the right play, even if no one among the thousands in attendance were there to see her toss away her forearm guard and jog to first base. Her team hit 15 home runs in the five games, so the strategy of not getting beat by Alo meant they were being beaten by someone else.”