Oklahoma softball: Sooners' decade-long NCAA Championship dominance


Oklahoma softball's seven national championships rank third among NCAA Division I teams

UCLA holds the record for the most Women's College World Series championships, which determines the Division I college softball national champion, at 12. Arizona is next with eight. After the Sooners', the number of programs with multiple national titles drops off precipitously.
Three other team have two national championships and seven more have one apiece.

Both UCLA and Arizona have won back-to-back WCWS championships three times. Only UCLA and Oklahoma, however, have done it three consecutive years, and the Sooners are seeking to be the only team to do it four times in a row. UCLA came very close, making it to the WCWS championship series in 1991, only to lose to Arizona. The Bruins claimed their fourth WCWS title in five years, winning it all again in 1992

Five of OU's seven national championships have come since 2016. That's five in the last seven season the WCWS has been held (the WCWS was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic).

The Sooners have clearly been the dominant college softball team of the 2000s. All seven of Oklahoma's national titles (2000, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2021, 2022, 2023) have come during that span. In addition, OU was the national runner-up in 2012 and 2019.

Under head coach Patty Gasso, Oklahoma has made 23 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Softball Tournament, and if the Sooners advance out of the regional they are hosting this weekend, they will be making their 14 straight appearance in the super regionals, which they also will host this season. This is the 13th consecutive year OU has served as one of the 16 regional sites in the NCAA Championship.

The Sooners begin their postseason quest this weekend to become the only team to win a fourth consecutive WCWS. OU, the No. 2 overall seed in this year's tournament is hosting Oregon, Boston University and Oregon at all-new Love's Field, opened just this year. Oklahoma is 84-5 playing at home the past five years. Interestingly, the Sooners are just 19-4 this season at their new ballpark, which holds 4,000-plus fans

Although UCLA and Arizona have been in the national spotlight more often than the Sooners historically, Oklahoma has clearly separated itself from those two softball blue bloods with its accomplishments over the past two decades.

Last season, the Sooners set a new NCAA record for the best winning percentage in a single season with a near perfect 61-1 record and a 984 win percentage. With 53 consecutive wins to end the 2023 season, OU also set a new record for most consecutive wins. That broke the previous record of 47 set by Arizona in 1996-97.

The Sooners extended that record to 71 games before falling in their 19th game this season 7-5 in eight innings, and at home in the opening weekend for Love's Field, to unranked Louisiana.

In two of the last three seasons, Oklahoma has led all of college softball in batting average, pitching ERA and fielding, and the Sooners are still ranked in the top two nationally in 2024 in batting average and runs per game and in the top 10 in both ERA and fielding percentage.

The seniors on this Oklahoma team can make an easy argument as the best senior class in college softball with three national championships to its credit -- and going for an unprecedented fourth -- and a sensational four-year record of 225-14, a .941 winning percentage. And there are still games to play and win this season.

Oklahoma and Texas rank No. 1 and 2 entering the 2024 postseason, and both are in the final Big 12 season.

dark. Next. What Oklahoma softball fans need to know about teams in the NCAA Norman Regional. Previewing the teams in the NCAA Norman Softball Regional

The Sooners will get the NCAA postseason under way Friday night against Cleveland State, the only team in the 64-team NCAA Championship with a losing overall record. The OU-Cleveland State game will follow Oregon vs. Boston University and is scheduled to start around 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.