OKLAHOMA CITY – This Oklahoma softball juggernaut is already one of the greatest teams of all time.
But on Saturday, after claiming a 7-2 victory over rivals Texas to improve to 56-2 this season, OU star Jocelyn Alo said those two losses served as motivation as the Sooners qualified for the semi-finals of the Women’s College World Series. the sixth consecutive year.
After beating the Longhorns, Alo recalled that April 16 loss, when Texas ended the Sooners’ 40-game winning streak record as Texas pitcher Hailey Dolcini allowed just two hits in a surprise 4- 2.
“I think we had the advantage this time, a bit of a chip on our shoulder,” Alo said. “Last time we faced Dolcini, she ruled us out. And no one is ruling out the Sooners. We had something to prove for sure.”
At Alo’s point, the Sooners scored 20 points in their first two games, tied with the 1995 Arizona Wildcats for the second most in WCWS history. Overall in the playoffs, Oklahoma outscored opponents 72-7 and did not allow more than two runs in any game.
Hope Trautwein picked up the win for the Sooners, pitching a full game while allowing two runs on six hits.
Alo tied those two runs in his first at-bat against Dolcini on Saturday, hitting a homer to left field in the first inning to drive leadoff hitter Jayda Coleman.
Dolcini settled after those first two at bats, but eventually allowed five runs on six hits in 4⅓ innings, including a spectacular home run to left field by Tiare Jennings that landed in the second-to-last row of the stands.
“I saw a lot of long home runs, but it was elevated to allow him to really get under it and get his power,” coach Patty Gasso said. “It was definitely another momentum builder for the team.”
The top five hitters on the OU roster — Coleman, Alo, Jennings, Grace Lyons and Alyssa Brito — had 9 of the team’s 10 hits and all 7 RBIs.
Texas coach Mike White said Oklahoma’s roster looked like a “row of murderers,” but even knowing that, he said the Sooners were still hard to pin down.
“Saying this row of murderers, they keep changing it,” White said with a laugh. “It’s like the row changes and whoever doesn’t hit, he trades it in there.”
The Sooners next play on Monday. They will face whoever wins Sunday afternoon’s game between No. 5 UCLA or Florida.
The game featured a historic footnote as the first College World Series game on network television, airing on ABC. Gasso, who has coached Oklahoma since 1996, took the opportunity to reflect on the growth of the sport.
“It’s an absolute honor,” she said. “To think that we’re in a game on ABC is just a wow factor.”
Oklahoma State 2, Florida 0: Kelly Maxwell threw a three-batter and struck out nine, and No. 7 seed Oklahoma State beat No. 14 Florida 2-0 to advance to the Women’s College World Series semifinals. .
Maxwell (21-4), a first-team NFCA All-American, struck out 14 in a win over Arizona on Thursday.
Chyenne Factor had two hits and hit in a run for the Cowgirls (48-12).
Lexie Delbrey (15-4) took the loss for Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.