Three Thoughts on Oklahoma’s 8-3 Win Over Texas in Game 1 of WCWS Finals

Oklahoma catcher Kinzie Hansen (9) hits a home run in the third inning of the first game of the Women’s College World Series softball championship series between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns at Devon Park in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

After holding its first three opponents in Oklahoma City to just three hits and not a single run, Texas ran into a buzzsaw offense in their rival North of the Red River.

Oklahoma didn’t just break the Longhorn’s scoreless streak; they blew it out of the water as the Sooners poured on their first five runs of the game via the home run and went on to win by a score of 8-3.

With the win, OU is just one victory away from becoming the first team in NCAA history to win four consecutive national championships, spanning from 2021 to 2024.

Meanwhile, the loss for Texas means they’ll have to beat Oklahoma on Thursday and again on Friday in order to win their first national championship in school history.


Here are three thoughts on the game and what it means for the Sooners and Longhorns heading into Game 2 of the WCWS Champ Series.

Kelly Maxwell Continues to Stymie Texas

Kelly Maxwell has been the one pitcher that Texas has faced multiple times this season that has regularly held their potent offense in check. Maxwell threw her third consecutive complete game on Wednesday night and was spectacular against the nation’s top offense. In 7.0 IP, Maxwell allowed four hits and one earned run, surrendered four walks, and struck out eight Texas batters.

Maxwell has now thrown 24.0 innings against the Longhorns this season, and here’s how it’s gone: 3-1 Record, 12 H, 6 ER, 11 BBs, 31 K.

To this point, Texas just hasn’t been able to figure the drop ball out, and Maxwell’s ability to disguise it and change speeds from inning to inning has made her akin to kryptonite for an otherwise unstoppable Longhorns offense.


Oklahoma’s Offense Turns Back the Clock

One of the things that has made Oklahoma so difficult to beat over the course of the past several seasons has been their ability to put runs on the board in bunches. At times in 2024, that part of their DNA has seemed to be lacking, and it’s made them vulnerable to teams with excellent pitching.

The series losses to Texas and Oklahoma State in the regular season were a shining example of that, with OU scoring just two runs total in their losses to Texas, and four runs total in a pair of losses to Oklahoma State. However, on Wednesday night, the OU offense looked like the offenses of old, and Texas didn’t have an answer for it.

Tiare Jennings (2-4, 3 RBI, HR), Kinzie Hansen (2-4, 2 RBI, HR), and Kasidi Pickering (1-4, 1 RBI, HR) all went yard, and the mounting pressure messed with Texas’ defense, as it has in the past. Oklahoma score two unearned runs on three Texas errors, helping them pad their lead throughout the night.


OU’s Dominance Against Texas in OKC is Absurd

After the game went final and ESPN tuned into SportsCenter With Scott Van Pelt, a graphic on the broadcast caught my eye, and I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing. In fact, it was crazy enough that I snapped a picture and shared it on Twitter.

Oklahoma and Texas have faced off six times in the NCAA Softball Tournament, dating back to 2002. In those games, OU has a 6-0 record and has outscored Texas 55-14, or by an average of around 9-2.

Texas entered the Championship Series as the favorite to take home the title, but now Mike White’s squad is faced with doing something that’s never been done before. They’ll have to beat this group of Oklahoma seniors in back-to-back postseason games, and eliminate them from the WCWS for the first time in their careers.

It’s not impossible with Texas’s firepower both offensively and in the circle, but it’s a tall task, even for the tournament’s No. 1 seed.

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