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Oklahoma Makes History, Wins Third Straight National Title

2023 wcws celebration Photo by Tyler Schank_NCAA Photos via Getty Images.jpg
(Photo by Tyler Schank/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

History was made Thursday night in Oklahoma City, as the No. 1 Sooners took down the No. 3 Florida State Seminoles, 3-1, in Game 2 of the Women’s College World Series championship series to become the first team since 1990 to win back-to-back-to-back national titles.

In a game of incredible defense, and a showcase between two of the hottest squads in college softball, it took some time for either team to land on the scoreboard.

FSU threatened in the first inning when Kaley Mudge came right out of the gate with a liner down the third-base line. Jahni Kerr then grounded into a fielder’s choice, and Michaela Edenfield grounded out to Oklahoma starter Alex Storako to advance the runners, but the Seminoles ultimately left them stranded.

The Sooners came close to scoring in the third inning, but couldn’t find a way to break through. Grace Lyons fired up the lineup after sending the ball to deep left field. With Cydney Sanders already on base due to a walk, Rylie Boone stepped up to the plate and laid down a perfect bunt along the third-base line. But with the bases loaded and no outs, Florida State starter Kathryn Sandercock and the Seminoles got out of the jam just fine, putting balls in the dirt and getting force outs at home.

Finally, after back-and-forth attempts, Florida State scored a run when Mack Leonard sent a solo home run off of Storako to right field in the fourth inning.

But Oklahoma and Sanders responded back in a huge way in the top of the fifth inning when she sent a home run over the right-field wall off of Sandercock.

And in her last game wearing a Sooners uniform, Grace Lyons followed up immediately with another home run to right field, which changed the entire trajectory of the game.

“Grace Lyons came to college softball wanting to leave a different impact than what players usually want to leave on their programs, and she’s done just that,” Oklahoma pitcher Jordy Bahl said. “When she hit that home run and seeing her round the bases and seeing that look on her face, it was just emotional.”

After the Seminoles figured out how to hit off of Storako, Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso put Bahl in the game, ultimately sealing the deal for the Sooners.

“The mindset this week has been consistent with what the mindset has been (all year),” Bahl said. “The mindset is be simple, don’t give the team anything and let your defense work.”

The scoring didn’t stop there for the Sooners, either. In the sixth inning, Alynah Torres grounded into a fielder’s choice, sending home Bahl, the pinch runner.

In a record-breaking season with a 53-game winning streak and the nation's best hitting, pitching and fielding, Gasso beamed with pride on Thursday after her team's win.

“I don’t know how to explain it, I can just tell you the way I feel right now is free,” Gasso said. “The expectation is overwhelming, the pressure is overwhelming, but it is extremely rewarding. I think this is the roughest (national championship) I have ever had to go through just because with the growth of the sport comes a lot of pressure. We just want to play ball. That's all.”

Oklahoma finished its season with a 61-1 record, while Florida State ended its campaign with a record of 58-11.

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