Oklahoma softball: National honors continue to roll in for Sooners

OU softball captain Grace Lyons arrives with the NCAA championship trophy on Saturday at Marita Hynes Field in Norman.
OU softball captain Grace Lyons arrives with the NCAA championship trophy on Saturday at Marita Hynes Field in Norman. /

The season effectively ended when top-ranked Oklahoma softball successfully a national championship three-peat defeating Florida State in the Women’s College World Series, but national honors are still being bestowed on the Sooners.

Immediately following OU’s record-setting 61-1 season and third consecutive national title, WCWS Most Outstanding Player Jordy Bahl was named D1 Softball Pitcher of the Year, and a pair of Sooner players from the best offensive team in college softball were recognized for their defensive excellence. Shortstop Grace Lyons was named Defensive Player of the Year by Softball America, and center fielder Jayda Coleman received the same honor from D1 Softball.

And there was more to come. This past week, we learned that Alex Storako had been named Softball America’s NCAA Transfer of the Year for the 2023 college softball season. Storako transferred from Michigan after the 2022 season and went 18-0 in the circle for the Sooners this season with an ERA of 1.15. She was the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in 2022.

Additionally, the Oklahoma coaching staff, headed by 29-year veteran head coach Patty Gasso, was named the D1 National Coaching Staff of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.


According to the OU athletic department, this is the second straight and sixth overall honor for Gasso and the Sooner softball staff. The OU coaches also received the award in 2000, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2022, all OU national championship seasons.

Besides Gasso, the members of the Sooner coaching staff include associate head coach and pitching coach Jennifer Rocha, assistant coach JT Gasso (Patty’s son), who works with the hitters and volunteer assistant Hannah Sparks.

Also, the Oklahoma softball team is nominated for two ESPYs. The 2023 OU national championship team is nominated in the category for “Best Team.” This is the third year in a row that the Sooner softball squad has been nominated in that category.

The Sooners are facing stiff competition in the Best Team category. The other nominees are the Golden State Warriors (NBA), Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), Georgia Bulldogs (NCAA football), the LSU Tigers (NCAA women’s basketball), Vegas Golden Knights (NHL) and the Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA).

Jordy Bahl is a nominee in the category for “Best Collegiate Athlete, Women’s Sports.” She is the second OU player to be nominated in this ESPY category in as many years. Jocelyn Alo, the NCAA career home run leader, was a nominee a year ago. Just a day or two after the Sooners won their third straight national championship, Bahl announced she was entering the transfer portal after two seasons at OU. She has since committed to Nebraska in her home state.

The ESPN ESPY Awards Show will be July 12 and televised on ABC.

The Sooners 61-1 overall record this season was the highest winning percentage (.984) in NCAA Division 1 softball history. The 2023 Sooners are the only team to finish No. 1 in the country in scoring, batting average, pitching ERA and fielding percentage in the same season.

A magical season, for sure.