The Oklahoma Sooners dominated the softball world on the way to securing their second national championship with a win Tuesday over the Tennessee Volunteers. How dominant were they? How about wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country and a 58-4 record. The squad won its final 12 straight games, including sweeps in the regionals, super regionals and College World Series.
OU did it with superior offense, defense and coaching – Lauren Chamberlain’s powerful hitting (30 homers this year and the game winner in game one of the championship series with UT), Brianna Turang’s speed and Keilani Ricketts’ pitching (national Player of the Year with a 35-1 record) to name a few. Head coach Patty Gasso, in her 19th year as skipper, has a 929-283-2 record (76.6%) with numerous honors including the 2000 national title.
When OU scored five runs in the 11th and 12th innings in the first game of the World Series finale to beat Tennessee, 5-3, Gasso said it was the “greatest game I’ve ever been a part of.”
They followed it with a 4-0 win in the second game of the best-of-three series. Ricketts hit a three-run homer and Michelle Gascoigne pitched the shutout.
No Oklahoma sports team has been this dominant—with excellent offense and defense—since the football team won the 2000 national championship.
With the tornadoes that have ravaged central Oklahoma in the last couple of weeks, the Sooners’ national title in softball is good news compared to the sadness and chaos that has dominated the headlines here recently. There could be more good news on the way if the men's baseball team beats LSU in the super regionals this weekend. OU is currently riding an eight-game winning streak, having swept through the Big 12 tournament and regional play. Getting to the College World Series in Omaha and possibly adding more hardware to the trophy case would be even sweeter.
The last time the Sooners’ softball team won a national championship, the football team followed with their eighth title months later. An omen? We can only hope.