National championships are becoming less rare at The University of Oklahoma.
For the second straight year and the third time in the last five years, the OU women’s softball team has won the national championship.
And the OU men’s golf team has won a national title.
No. 10 OU (61-9) defeated top-seed Florida (58-10) June 6, 5-4, for a WCWS Championship Series sweep to claim the title.
“Well, first and foremost, whether we win or lose, we give the glory to God,” said Coach Patty Gasso. “Had the power of three throughout this entire postseason, and it was powerful for this group. Proud of them.
“I also want to thank everybody who worked this tournament. It was so well run, better than we’ve ever seen it, and I congratulate Florida. What a great, great team, well-coached. They’re tough.
“The battle that we had last night was unbelievable, and I think we still feel a little adrenaline from last night, as well. But it was a challenge.
“Words cannot express — I still cannot believe that this happened, with where we started and where we finished. There are so many stories. The journey was unbelievable. I think if you looked at us in February and March, even parts of April, you would never imagine us sitting here right now with trophies in front of us.”
With four crowns, only UCLA (11) and Arizona (8) have more championships than OU. Additionally, Oklahoma is just the fourth program to repeat as champions, joining UCLA (1984-85, ’88-91 and ’03-04), Arizona (1993-94, ’96-97 and ’06-07) and Florida (2014-15).
Four pitchers combined on the win as junior Paige Parker started but gave up three runs on four hits and three walks in 1.2 innings. Freshman Mariah Lopez entered in the second for her first appearance of the WCWS and ended up earning the win to finish 18-1 on the season.
Florida cut the lead to 5-4 in the top of the third on Chelsea Herndon’s solo home run to center field. But that would be about it for the Gators’ offense as they could only muster one single over the final four innings.
“Congratulations to Coach (Patty) Gasso on another national championship and to the University of Oklahoma,” said Florida coach Tim Walton. “Just thanks to the NCAA, ESPN, OKC All-Sports, University of Oklahoma hosting this tournament. It’s a great event. Just an awesome event when you get that many people in there cheering, and then the crowd, I thought the crowd was great and I give a lot of credit to the OU fans for being very respectful. They were cheering and chanting and doing their cheers and nothing was ever any negative tone toward us. They were just cheering the heck out of their team and I give them a lot of respect for competing the right way with a lot of class, so congratulations.”
“It’s an indescribable feeling to win another national championship,” said Sooner Kelsey Arnold. “I just want to let you all know that my teammates are leaders along with me. It’s not just me by myself, and I believe that when we all came together, power of three, that’s what you saw.”