Oklahoma outlasts Texas to secure historic four-peat at Women’s College World Series

Crash Kamon/Softball America

‘When would Oklahoma turn to Kelly Maxwell?” Everyone in Devon Park had the same sentiment. As Texas threatened in the sixth, Patty Gasso turned to the lefty knowing one swing could tie the game or even give the Longhorns the lead.

By the end of the sixth inning, it wasn’t the biggest question of the night. Maxwell secured the final out in the frame but not in the way anyone could imagine. Mia Scott hit a chopper that Avery Hodge, who had been terrific defensively, didn’t field clearly. That cut the deficit to one.

Before Hodge gave the ball back to Maxwell, she flipped it back to Cydney Sanders to get Scott, who was a few steps off first base. It seemed that Scott was trying to force chaos on the basepaths but got caught in the middle.

“I saw Mia Scott kind of come off the bag. I was just telling Avery turn around, turn around, let’s get her, c’mon,” Maxwell said. “She finally heard me. We got it done. It was pretty cool to see, to be able to get out of that.”

Maxwell proceeded to shut things down in the seventh to secure the 8-4 win and Oklahoma’s historic four-peat.

“No one feels worse than Mia Scott right now,” Texas head coach Mike White said. “Everything happens for a reason. She’s cheeky. That’s part of her MO. That’s what she does. If you get caught out, you better be able to stand for it. It was a big moment in that game. Everybody knows it. She’s already beaten herself up. I know she is. Hopefully she learns from that.”

Oklahoma took advantage of the Texas miscue. The Sooners tacked on three runs in the bottom of the sixth putting all the pressure back on the Longhorns.

Texas had ample chances throughout the game. The Longhorns finished the night 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and 5-for-16 with runners on.

Patty Gasso decided to make it a bullpen game. Karlie Keeney got the start and her four walks got her into more trouble than anything. Kayden Henry poked a two-out RBI single as the Longhorns struck first in the second. Keeney proceeded to strand two runners in scoring position.

After two quick outs in the third, Texas loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Alyssa Washington put enough on one to get past a diving Tiare Jennings to drive the game-tying run.

Gasso then used Paytn Monticelli, who did not throw much this season, to face Joley Mitchell. Monticelli induced a groundout and it felt Oklahoma had all the momentum from there.

Also worth pointing out that in the sixth inning, Ashton Maloney lined one into the gap for a double to put runners in scoring position. Maloney, a slapper, clearly got enough into this that it was going to find the gap against the shallow outfield. But Mitchell did not get a good read off the bat and she ended up having to stop at third despite the ball rolling to the wall.

Cydney Sanders delivered what ended up being the knockout blow in the fourth. It was a tough pill to swallow for Estelle Czech. The lefty pitched well in her outing but things did not fall her way. Oklahoma hit back-to-back bloopers and Rylie Boone beat Katie Stewart to first base on a chopper. Sanders roped the 2-2 pitch into the right field gap for a bases-clearing double.

Kasidi Pickering blasted her second home run of the champ series with a two-run bomb in the second. The freshman kept her barrel low on a drop ball from Mac Morgan in the second inning. It was only the sixth homer Morgan allowed in 2024.

Oklahoma graduates a senior class that can say it won a national championship each season in Norman.

“This one, to me, I definitely felt a little bit more sentimental,” Kinzie Hansen said. “We grew up together. I came in at 17 with Boone, then they came in freshman year after COVID. Kelly transferred. I’m so, so proud of this team and everyone had their hand in it. It was never one hero at the plate or on the mound or anything like that. This was a team effort. We fought all season. Everybody had something to say about us all the time. People counted us out. It was just a grind. All in mentally, physically. We fought the whole year. It was all so worth it in this moment.”

Gasso continued her remarks.

“This group of seniors really left their mark, she said. “That’s one thing you want them to do, is leave the program better than you found it. They really did a good job of training and teaching these young athletes what it’s going to look like in the future.

“They’ve cemented this program in history,” she said. “They’ve cemented themselves in history. History can change, but these guys will never, ever be forgotten.”


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