Oklahoma extends winning streak to 52 games, 3rd straight title win

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JUNE 07: Alyssa Brito #33 of the Oklahoma Sooners reacts as she runs for first during the Division I Women's Softball Championship against the Florida State Seminoles held at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium on June 7, 2023 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Oklahoma softball seems inevitable at the Women’s College World Series. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Oklahoma softball is one win away from finishing one of the greatest seasons in NCAA history.

The Sooners extended their NCAA-record winning streak to 52 games with a 5-0 win over Florida State in Game 1 of the Women’s College World Series Championship Series, putting them one win away from a third consecutive title. of the NCAA.

Only UCLA (1988-90) has scored a hat-trick since the NCAA hosted its first softball tournament in 1982. Oklahoma will go for the clinch in Game 2 Thursday at Oklahoma City (7 p.m. CT, ESPN).

Florida State looked like it had a chance against Oklahoma…until the 4th inning

Florida State managed to control Oklahoma’s scoring machine for quite some time.

All-ACC starter Mack Leonard started the game, which saw his start cut short by multiple weather delays, by holding the Sooners scoreless for three innings, but the dam broke in the fourth, an inning in which OU beat now his opponents 76-3.

The first crack came on a single shot from Oklahoma’s Haley Lee, which was enough for Florida State to pull Leonard. The change didn’t help, as Kinzie Hansen followed with a double, then scored on an Alyssa Brito single.

The inning ended with Oklahoma up 3-0, and the Sooners extended their lead to 4-0 with another rally in the fifth inning and then to 5-0 in the sixth. Oklahoma’s offensive tap is extremely difficult to turn off once it’s been turned on.

Perhaps the biggest win of the game would have been if Florida State avoided getting outplayed, as left fielder Kaley Mudge stole a three-run homer from Lee in the sixth that would have ended the game.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma starting pitcher Jordy Bahl pitched like a first-team All-American, which she has been the past two seasons. The Sooners ace led with 10 strikeouts on a two-for-seven shutout. She now holds a 0.00 ERA with 30 strikeouts and three walks in 21 2/3 WCWS innings.

While Florida State is going to pull off perhaps the most stunning comeback in NCAA softball history, Oklahoma didn’t leave much to hope for in Game 1. The NCAA’s best offense entered Wednesday with a 70-14 aggregate score in eight games, and only bettered that number.

It took a few more small balls than the Sooners are used to — it was a rare homer game in Oklahoma — but you don’t win 52 straight games by having nights off.

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