Last year Jocelyn Alo set a record for most home runs in a Woman’s College World Series (4). This year she beat it (5), along with setting marks for runs and total bases. Her teammate Tiare Jennings tied that 5 homers and added a new record for RBI. The softball team as a whole hit 17 home runs, a record. They scored 64 runs in this year’s WCWS, obliterating the old record of 49–set by them at last year’s WCWS. Alo, a fifth year senior, was named most outstanding player of the tournament.
As a result, they cruised to a second straight NCAA title and sixth overall. They won the best of three finals series 2-0 over arch rival Texas. OU went 59-3 overall, and Texas had handed them their first defeat after a 38-0 start to the season. At the WCWS, Texas lost three games—all to OU.
I attended the first game on Wednesday, and it was a great game…for OU fans. Texas scored in the top of the first on a bases loaded walk. Then Hope Trautwein settled down, the team played stellar defense, and Texas was shut out the rest of the way. OU then proceeded to score 5 in the bottom of the first. In fact, they scored in every inning to win 16-1. There’s no mercy rule in the finals, so the Texas softball squad got all 7 turns at bat. OU set a record with 6 homers. Jocelyn Alo’s night: 3 at bats, 2 homers, a double, a walk, and a HBP.
Work prevented me from going to the second game yesterday, but my wife and daughter attended. Like the first game, Texas took the lead, 2-0 in the bottom of the first. OU’s pitcher, Jordan Bahl was an All American this year and the Division I freshman of the year. She had also just come back from being down a month for an injury to her throwing arm. Like Hope Trautwein, she settled down, and Texas never scored again. OU’s defense backed her up with several great plays including robbing Texas of a home run with a leaping catch at the wall by the center fielder. OU got on the board in the 4th, scoring twice thanks to a Texas error. Then they scored 4 in the 5th and 4 more in the 6th to go up 10-2. Again, there’s no mercy rule at the finals, so they played the 7th. OU got players in off the bench and made sure seniors like Alo got curtain calls…and Texas showed pride, scoring three to make the final score 10-5.
Texas set a couple records, too. They were the first unseeded team to make it to the final series. They also turned 8 double plays at the WCWS.
Just a couple more things though to illustrate just how good Jocelyn Alo and the Sooners as a whole were this year: Alo hit .520 and collected 34 homers. The All-Time list of NCAA softball players to hit .500+ with 30+ homers in the same season: Jocelyn Alo. The team as a whole batted .370 for the season to lead the nation. They also lead then nation in runs scored. Their pitching staff, meanwhile, put up a season 0.97 ERA to also lead the nation. OU was a juggernaut, and the softball program has now won 4 of the last 6 NCAA tournaments. They can be rightly thought of in the same lines as UConn’s women’s basketball team and the Alabama football team.