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Four Peat Complete, OU Softball Claims Eighth National Title



OKLAHOMA CITY ( – There’s only one softball program to win four straight NCAA championships.

The Sooners officially capped the most dominant four-year span in Division I history Thursday night with an 8-4 victory over rival Texas at the Women’s College World Series.

The clincher came in Game Two of the best-of-three championship series before a crazed sellout crowd of 12,324 at Devon Park.

OU has now won eight national crowns all-time and six of the last eight.

OU (59-7) and Texas (55-10) both pitched by committee, combining to use eight pitchers.

For the first 17 outs, the Sooners sent four pitchers to the circle.

Right-hander Karlie Keeney started, was relieved by righty Paytn Monticelli, who was followed by lefty Kierston Deal, and then came righty Nicole May.

Monticelli was making her first appearance since May 9 and just her fourth appearance since March. The Wisconsin transfer got out of a bases-loaded jam with a ground out to first base.

May’s most recent appearance came in a 9-3 semifinal loss to Florida, during which she surrendered six hits and four runs (all earned) in the first 2.0 innings.

On this night, however, May performed commendably after starting the top of the fifth. In 1.2 innings, she yielded one hit and struck out four of the seven batters she faced.

With two outs, runners at second and third and OU clinging to a 5-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning, it was Kelly Maxwell’s turn.

Maxwell would face just one batter in the sixth.

Mia Scott’s short-hop grounder to second base bounced out of Avery Hodge’s glove and Scott was safe at first.

After UT’s Joley Mitchell had scored from third to make it 5-4, Scott took two steps toward second while standing behind OU first baseman Cydney Sanders.

Hodge still had the ball and quickly flipped it to Sanders, who tagged out Scott to end the inning, stranding the tying run at third.

UT’s last run was credited to May. Amazingly, it was the first run in relief May had allowed since February of her sophomore season.

In the bottom half of the sixth, the Sooners’ offense tacked on three runs on three hits to double-up the Longhorns by a score of 8-4.

Maxwell, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, set the Texas batters down in order in the seventh to seal the deal.

The southpaw was joined by Kinzie Hansen, Tiare Jennings, Ella Parker and Kasidi Pickering on the WCWS All-Tournament team as part of a tournament-leading five OU selections.

Deal (14-1) got the win. UT pitcher Estelle Czech (8-4), who was one of two pitchers to beat the Sooners 2-1 in early April, took the loss.

Freshman outfielder Kasidi Pickering launched a two-run, opposite-field home run to left in the bottom of the second to put OU in front 2-1.

Texas tied the score at 2 in the third and took a 3-2 lead in the fourth. The Sooners took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth coming on four hits. An OU three-spot in the sixth provided the final insurance needed to secure the title.