OU Softball: Oklahoma Makes History, Captures Fourth Consecutive National Title

Cydney Sanders' three-RBI double in the fourth inning proved decisive as Oklahoma beat Texas for the program's eighth national championship.
Oklahoma celebrates a 2-run home run by Oklahoma outfielder Kasidi Pickering (7) in the second inning during Game 2 of the NCAA softball Women's College World Series Championship Series game between the Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Texas Longhorns at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, Thursday, June, 6, 2024.
Oklahoma celebrates a 2-run home run by Oklahoma outfielder Kasidi Pickering (7) in the second inning during Game 2 of the NCAA softball Women's College World Series Championship Series game between the Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Texas Longhorns at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, Thursday, June, 6, 2024. / SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY

OKLAHOMA CITY — There is a new standard for dominance in softball. 

Patty Gasso needed to use every corner of her roster, but Oklahoma overcame Texas 8-4 to win its fourth-straight national title. 

Neither UCLA nor Arizona have accomplished that feat, as OU’s senior class broke one more record on the way out the door at Devon Park on Thursday night. 

Cydney Sanders put Oklahoma in front with the decisive swing, a three-RBI double in the fifth inning, to put the Sooners up 5-3.

The champions never looked back. 

Nicole May threw 1 2/3 innings starting in the fifth, and then Gasso brought Kelly Maxwell in to record the final four outs of the game. 

Gasso is now tied with a pair of legends, UCLA coach Sharon Backus and Arizona coach Mike Candrea, by winning eight national titles, and seven of those crowns have come since 2013.

The Sooners finished the season 59-7 overall, and Texas ended 55-10.

After Maxwell threw 267 combined pitches in the last two days, Gasso declined to start Maxwell, instead opting for Karlie Keeney

The Liberty transfer issued a leadoff walk in each of the first two innings, and Texas made her pay in the second. 

Kayden Henry brought Reese Atwood home with a softly-hit single into right field, giving Texas a 1-0 advantage. 

Kasidi Pickering erased that lead immediately. 

She hammered the first pitch she saw in the second inning, putting OU on top 2-1 with her second long ball in as many games. 

Alyssa Washington tied the game back up in the third, and Keeney’s fourth walk of the night loaded the bases with two outs. 

Gasso then inserted Paytn Monticelli, who hadn’t pitched since May 9, but the right-handed hurler got the out to end the threat. 

Texas would take the lead again in the fourth. 

Kierston Deal became OU’s third pitcher of the night, and she glared in home to take on Mia Scott with Henry on third. 

Scott belted one toward second base, but Avery Hodge appeared to trip as she moved toward the ball, allowing the Longhorns to take a 3-2 lead on the error. 

Oklahoma’s offense proved to be biding its time, and it struck in the bottom of the fourth. 

Back-to-back-to-back singles loaded the bases for Sanders with one out. 

The OU first baseman fouled off a pair of pitches before lifting a double into right-center field, clearing the bases and putting the Sooners back on top 5-3.

Back on top, Gasso handed the ball to senior right-hander May. 

May retired Texas in order in the fifth, and recorded the first two outs of the sixth before turning the game over to Maxwell with a pair of runners in scoring position. 

Maxwell threw two strikes before Mia Scott bounced a dribbler at Hodge, who couldn’t handle the ball, which gave Texas enough time to score a run. 

But Scott rounded first, and Hodge flipped the ball over to Sanders who tagged the Texas third baseman out to end the inning with OU up 5-4.

Jayda Coleman added an insurance run with a one-out single in the sixth, and Ella Parker added another pair with a double. 

Maxwell returned to the circle up 8-4.

Eleven pitches later, the Sooners were champions again.


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Ryan Chapman

RYAN CHAPMAN

Ryan is deputy editor at AllSooners and covers a number of sports in and around Norman and Oklahoma City. Working both as a journalist and a sports talk radio host, Ryan has covered the Oklahoma Sooners, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, the Oklahoma City Energy and more. Since 2019, Ryan has simultaneously pursued a career as both a writer and a sports talk radio host, working for the Flagship for Oklahoma sports, 107.7 The Franchise, as well as AllSooners.com. Ryan serves as a contributor to The Franchise’s website, TheFranchiseOK.com, which was recognized as having the “Best Website” in 2022 by the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. Ryan holds an associate’s degree in Journalism from Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City, OK.