Patty Gasso Says 2024 WCWS Title Was the “Hardest of All”

Jun 6, 2024; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Patty Gasso looks on in the second inning against the Texas Longhorns during game two of the Women's College World Series softball championship finals at Devon Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Winning a national championship isn’t easy. It takes the right combination of talent and fortune, but also a level of dedication and consistency that most teams never reach.

So, winning four national championships in a row is next to impossible. That’s why it has never happened up until Thursday night when Patty Gasso and the Oklahoma Sooners put a bow on their fourth consecutive season at the top of the softball world.

It wasn’t an easy run, though. The Sooners lost their first regular season series in Big 12 play in over a decade and then finished out the year with a series loss to Oklahoma State, something that hadn’t happened in more than 20 years.


However, when the time came for OU to turn it up a notch, they did just that.

The Sooners went 14-1 in the postseason, including 5-1 at the Women’s College World Series, and went a perfect 3-0 against No. 1 Texas after the conclusion of their regular season.

the Sooners managed a 59-7 record in 2024 after going 61-1 in 2023, and in the opinion of many, they didn’t have what it takes to complete their dream run of four straight national titles.

The doubt, noise, and expectations all came together to create the hardest road to a championship that this group of seniors had faced, and Coach Gasso was clear about the challenge after her team wrapped up their season with another trophy.

“I can’t tell you what this means for these seniors and for Kelly Maxwell,” Gasso told ESPN’s Holly Rowe after the game. “This was the hardest of all, without question, and it’s gonna probably be the most remembered for just the magnitude fo what these guys have done. It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable.”


She went on to discuss the challenges her team faced in the postgame press conference, doubling down on the fact that Championship No. 8 and No. 4 in a row was the most difficult she can remember.

“I think we’ve hit some times where we were kind of low,” Gasso said. “I just felt they really look forward to the postseason. They’re very resilient. They feel invincible and that’s the way they play. You hear their faith has a lot to do with this. So they’re never afraid. They’re not afraid to lose. This is bigger than a game for them. It’s about life, trust, and all kinds of things that they’ve changed each other’s lives with.

“It wasn’t easy this season. I hear them, and I agree. It’s probably the hardest coaching season that I’ve had in a while because of a lot of the naysayers, a lot of — I don’t know.”

Bearing the crown, and being “the team to beat” for almost 1,500 days is a heavy burden, and the crown that Oklahoma’s softball program continues to wear definitely had a toll on this group. But, as Gasso points out, their ability to fight through it and play together is what made the difference.


“It’s heavy. It’s just—I don’t know how to explain how heavy—but ‘heavy is a head that wears the crown’ is the one thing that really stuck out. I heard someone say that and that really has felt true. It’s been exhausting,” Gasso said. “These players are exhausted, but they keep going. It’s the love for each other, the love for the game, and the love for the university. But they’re elite athletes who have extreme passion.”

Gasso, now the first coach to lead a team to four straight WCWS titles, says that what she witnessed her team do over the last four years is simply “incomprehensible.”

“It’s very difficult. Everything has to go right,” Gasso said of being the first team ever to four-peat. “The thing about them is they’re resilient. They have a lot of pride in that. With that, it’s hard for me to comprehend. I continue to say this one was the hardest to manage. We lost a lot in the summer; Players through the portal [and also] brought in some great ones. I can tell you that Kelly, this season, but this post-season, especially the World Series, Kelly will be changed forever. That is the greatest gift she could give us. Not the championship, but watching this young lady break out of her shell and smile and laugh and just enjoy being a good pitcher with good players who really appreciate and respect her.

“It has nothing to do with anything else except what I know happened here. I watched it and experienced it. It was amazing. That’s just a tribute to all these names here and those who aren’t. What’s really weird for me is in four years, I’ve never had a cry up here… It’s like I haven’t felt the hurt of the last loss. That is just incomprehensible at this level. It’s crazy. But it’s an honor.”

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