Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma players celebrate with the trophy after defeating Florida State in the NCAA Women's College World Series championship series, Thursday, June 8, 2023, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)

Sooners win third straight WCWS

Up 3-1, down to her final batter, Oklahoma right-hander Jordy Bahl delivered the last pitch of the 2023 Women’s College World Series and struck out FSU designated player Katie Dack. The Oklahoma Sooners won their third consecutive National Championship and joined only the 1988-90 UCLA Bruins to achieve the feat.

Bahl Ran the Show

Bahl made two appearances for the Sooners in the WCWS. The Papillion, Nebraska, native opened the series in dominant fashion for OU. Bahl tossed a complete-game shutout and struck out 10 batters in the Sooners’ 5-0 game one win. Sooners head coach Patty Gasso brought Bahl back into play to close out the series after senior pitcher Alex Storako worked through the first four innings of game two.

The right-handed sophomore tossed three scoreless frames and struck out the final batter of the game to complete Oklahoma’s three-peat. The 10 innings pitched in the WCWS marked 24.2 consecutive scoreless frames from Bahl, which ranks as the third longest streak in WCWS history.

Bahl also won the 2023 Women’s College World Series Most Outstanding Player.

Record-Breaking Season

Not only did Oklahoma become the second team ever to win three consecutive WCWS, but the Sooners also snapped the 26-year-long record held by the 1996-97 Arizona Wildcats who won 47 games in a row from April 5, 1996, to March 23, 1997.

OU’s 48th win came in dramatic fashion in game two of the NCAA Super Regionals against the Clemson Tigers.

The Sooners trailed 7-4 and were down to their final out when senior catcher Kinzie Hansen stepped up to the plate. Hansen sent an 0-2 pitch beyond the left field wall for a three-run bomb to tie the game and force extra innings.

Bahl finalized the come-from-behind victory and pitched a scoreless ninth inning after junior infielder Tiare Jennings tacked on a solo home run in the top of the ninth.

The victory secured the Sooners’ fourth consecutive WCWS appearance.

Gasso Continues Her Historic Legacy

OU head coach Patty Gasso is defining herself as one of the greatest NCAA coaches of all time — and not just in softball. Oklahoma’s 2023 WCWS win marked the seventh under the heel of Gasso and the sixth in the last 10 years.

The 61-year-old nearly surrendered her head coaching title in 1999 due to financial difficulties. Her husband was forced to move to California for a better-paying job, and Gasso had to balance raising two children while being head coach of a Division I softball program.

Despite the financial hardships, the head coach stuck it out and ended up winning OU’s first WCWS the following year in 2000. The Sooners department provided Gasso “a significant salary hike,” which allowed her husband to return to Oklahoma. No one knew at the time what her presence would mean for the program, but seven WCWS later, it’s become clear that Gasso has established herself as one of the best NCAA coaches of all time.

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