They’ve won three straight National Titles and 53 straight games...and counting.
Behind long-time coach Patty Gasso (she’s led the team since 1995), the Oklahoma Sooners have become one the best women’s softball teams of all time. Not only have they won the NCCA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) the past three straight seasons, but they’ve also captured seven World Series Championships overall since the 2000 season.
Only the UCLA Bruins (14) and Arizona Wildcats (8) Women’s teams have won more WCWS titles in NCAA history. Before these three recent titles, the Sooners had also won in 2000, ’13, ’16 and ’17.
Oklahoma is on a tear and clearly a force to be reckoned with today and in the future.
2023: What a season!
Just this year, in Coach Gasso’s 29th season, the Sooners took their dominance to the next level while in pursuit of their third straight Championship.
- They finished 61-1 and had a record 53-game winning streak at one point
- They became the first team to “three-peat” since UCLA did it from 1988 to 1990
- They swept Florida in two games to take the WCWS title
Image Credit: Oklahoma Sooners Women's Softball Sports News
Here are some interesting and win streak–related facts:
- The Sooners broke the previous record of 47 games held by the Arizona Wildcats, set 25 years ago. To add extra drama to the achievement, the team was trailing by three runs in a Super Regional game and down to their last out and strike. That’s when Kinzie Hansen drilled a three-run homer on an 0-2 pitch to tie the game. Oklahoma went on to win it in the 9th and head to the WCWS.
- The 53 wins were part of their season record of 6-1. The only loss happened early in the season, against Baylor.
- The streak is current. The Sooners can add to it in 2024.
- The previous record, Arizona’s 47, was accomplished over two different seasons (’96 and ’97).
By the way, the third-, fourth- and fifth-longest winning streaks all belong to...the Oklahoma Sooners. They had a 40-game streak that spanned the 2020–21 seasons, and another 40-game stretch covering 2021–22.
However, in 2019, the Sooners set the then-second longest winning streak in Division 1 softball with 41 consecutive wins—making it the longest single-season streak at the time.
Bringing home the title...again.
Sophomore pitcher Jordy Bahl was the pitching star for the ’23 Sooners and won the Women’s College World Series Most Outstanding Player award.
The Sooners took two straight games from Florida State to win the Series. Jordy Bahl pitched a complete game 5-0 shutout in Game 1. Bahl struck out 10 and walked only one batter.
The next day, she pitched the final three innings of the 3-1 Series-winning game. Bahl didn’t allow a run in their five ’23 World Series games, and she finished the season with a 21-1 record. This is the seventh national title in program history and the sixth in the past 10 years for Patty Gasso’s Sooners.
Seven National Titles with Gasso at the helm...so far.
Gasso has won the Big 12 Coach of the Year Award 15 times—including 2023, which marked her 11th straight honor. The team has won all their World Series titles under Coach Gasso—the first in 2000. Her son JT is an assistant coach for the team.
At age 61, Gasso is the winningest active collegiate softball coach, with 1,452 wins across her 29-year tenure. She’s the fourth winningest all time and is tied for the second highest winning percentage (.808) all time.
Patty Gasso and Oklahoma are ready to take on the 2024 season and a few more to come. She signed a contract that will keep her at the helm of the Sooners through the 2028 season.
In fact, she signed the extension after the end of the 2022 season...after the Sooners had won their second consecutive national title. She went right out and led the team to their sixth World Series title.
Better still, at the time of her signing the new contract for $1.625 million (plus lots of other incentives), she became the highest-paid women’s softball coach in the country and is among the highest-paid coaches in both college softball and men’s college baseball.
She seems to be a bargain for all that she’s done and is still likely to accomplish.
Resources: justwomenssports.com/reads/patty-gasso-contract; wikipedia.org/wiki/Patty_Gasso; tulsaworld.com/sports/college/ou/who-is-patty-gasso; ncaa.com/news/softball/top-3-finalists; ncaa.com/news/longest-winning-streaks-ncaa-di-softball; wikipedia.org/wiki/Patty_Gasso; ncaa.com/history/softball