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Oklahoma Sooners make softball history by winning fourth straight NCAA title

The Oklahoma Sooners won their fourth consecutive national championship Thursday night in Oklahoma City, Okla.
OU Athletics
The Oklahoma Sooners won their fourth consecutive national championship Thursday night in Oklahoma City, Okla.


The Oklahoma Sooners made NCAA softball history at the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City on Thursday night, winning their fourth consecutive national championship.

The 8 to 4 victory over rivals the Texas Longhorns also secured the eighth national title in OU softball history, and their seventh title out of the last 11.

All eight titles have come under the watch of head coach Patty Gasso, who has coached the Sooners for 30 seasons.

Texas got on the board first with a single run in the second, but OU answered in the bottom of that inning with a two-run homer from freshman Kasidi Pickering.

Texas took the lead with two runs over the next two innings, but OU countered again

in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded, junior Cydney Sanders hit a double to bring in all three baserunners and go up 5 to 3.

Texas made the score tight at 5 to 4, after one additional run in the sixth. That’s when OU put the game out of reach. Senior Jayda Coleman hit a single to right-center field to score Rylie Boone. Two batters later, freshman Ella Parker knocked in two more to go up 8 to 4.

The Sooners strategically used five pitchers to attack the Longhorns, closing the game with senior Nicole May and Oklahoma State graduate transfer Kelly Maxwell throwing the final three innings.

Following the game, Maxwell was named the Most Outstanding Player, after tallying five wins and two saves throughout the tournament.

A history-making season

The 2024 season was a unique one for the Sooners as they settled into their brand-new stadium at Love's Field in Norman. Three days after its grand opening, OU had their NCAA Division I-record 71-game win streak broken by the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.

The Sooners would lose six games total during the regular season, including back-to-back losses to Texas and another two to Oklahoma State. And, then, they were taken to the brink in the WCWS semifinals by the Florida Gators.

There were a lot of expectations for this year’s senior-laden team, several of whom, outside a pandemic-shortened season, never saw a season that didn’t end in a national title.

“This was a team effort, and we fought all season,” senior catcher and team captain Kinzie Hansen said after Thursday’s game. “Everybody had something to say about us all the time, and people counted us out. It was just a grind. All-in, mentally, physically — and we fought the whole year, and it was all so worth it in this moment.”

This senior class ended their collegiate careers with a record of 235 wins and 15 losses. It's the highest winning percentage (.940) by a senior class in Division I softball history.

“They have cemented this program in history. They have cemented themselves in history,” Gasso said. “History can change, but these guys will never ever be forgotten.”

Copyright 2024 KOSU

Ryan LaCroix
Ryan LaCroix joined KOSU’s staff in 2013. He hosts All Things Considered, Oklahoma Rock Show, Oklahoma Rock Show: Rewind, and Oklahoma Music Minute.