Three Thoughts: Oklahoma Makes History With Fourth Straight WCWS Title

Oklahoma players celebrate after winning Game 2 of the NCAA softball Women's College World Series Championship Series game between the Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Texas Longhorns at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, Thursday, June 6, 2024. Oklahoma won 8-4.

The best senior class in softball history has done the impossible, as the Oklahoma Sooners have become the first team in Division I history to win four consecutive WCWS national championships with an 8-4 victory over Texas on Thursday night.

It was a back-and-forth game for the first several innings as we were deadlocked at two apiece heading into the fourth inning and Texas even took a 3-2 lead in the top half of the fourth. However, from there on out it was all Sooners, as Oklahoma would outscore Texas 6-1 the rest of the way.

Oklahoma (59-7) sends its spectacular senior class out with a bang, as the Sooners’ most difficult path to Oklahoma City in recent years still managed to end with the same dazzling result–a national title.


Meanwhile, Texas (55-10) wraps up its best season in school history as the national runner-up for the second time in the past three seasons.

Here are a few takeaways from the Sooners’ history-defining victory and what it means going forward.


Among the laundry list of records broken by Oklahoma on Thursday night was one that might not catch all the headlines but is equally as impressive.

Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso sent five different pitchers–a WCWS record–into the game to keep the nation’s top offense off-schedule for the entire game.

Transfer senior Karlie Keeney (2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB) got the start and was relieved by Paytn Monticelli (0.1 IP) in the third. Kierston Deal (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 K) entered in the fourth before giving way to senior Nicole May (1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 K), who dazzled in her final time on the mound.

Then, to finish things off, Oklahoma turned to Kelly Maxwell (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K), and she slammed the door on the Longhorns season with her third save of the year.

Maxwell was named the WCWS Most Outstanding Player after going 5-0, totaling 45 strikeouts, 2 saves, and a 1.88 ERA in OKC.


Texas ranked inside the top three in almost every offensive statistic in 2024, but against Oklahoma, they just couldn’t keep up. On Thursday, they turned seven hits into four runs. On Wednesday, it was three runs on four hits. 11 hits and seven runs doesn’t sound too bad, but when you compare it to the 16 runs on 21 hits from the Sooners, it’s easy to see what the difference was between the two.


All nine Sooners in the starting lineup managed to get on base in some way on Thursday night, and while some of the seniors had terrific nights in their own right, it was the young guns that ended up playing this game wide open and securing the win.

Kasidi Pickering continued her impressive postseason run with two hits, including a two-run homer, for two RBI and two runs scored. Fellow freshman Ella Parker had another big night, scoring two on an RBI single in the sixth to give Oklahoma their 8-4 lead.

But the big one came from Cydney Sanders, who had struggled for the better part of the season at the plate, finishing the year with a .242 average. However, since she arrived in Oklahoma City, and particularly in the latter half of the week, she was brilliant. On Thursday, Cyd changed the game with a bases-clearing double in the fourth to give Oklahoma a 5-3 lead after Texas had gained the momentum.

Another player who continually showed up in big moments for the Sooners in the Champ series was second baseman Avery Hodge, who was 1-for-2 with a run scored on Thursday, but was pivotal once again as a defender.

While the names like Jayda Coleman, Tiare Jennings, Alyssa Brito, Kinzie Hansen, and Rylie Boone will be the names that everyone points to, it was actually the players set to return for OU that pushed them through to win their fourth national title.



It almost seems gaudy when you spell it out like that, right?

That’s a great example of just how ridiculous this group of seniors has been for the Sooners in the last four years. There’s never been a more accomplished group in softball–or any other sport for that matter–than the one that just played their final game together at Devon Park.

Just check out some of the incredible stats we’ve seen them amass over the last four seasons.

  • 235-15 (.940)
  • 114 Shutout Wins (49%)
  • 131 Run-Rule Wins (56%)
  • 0 Shutout Losses
  • 0 Run-Rule Losses
  • 201-0 when leading a game by 4+ runs
  • Four National Titles
  • Highest Win Pct (.940) in D-I History

The list of accomplishments and accolades for this team is almost impossible to comprehend, and with the pressure they’ve faced over the last several seasons, it’s incredible that they were able to hold everything together and remain at the top of the sport for their entire careers.

Now, Oklahoma sends an unforgettable group of women into their next phase of life without ever knowing what it feels like to end their season with a loss.

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