Softball: Oklahoma sweeps Texas in Women’s College World Series

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Oklahoma swept Texas to claim its second-consecutive national title in softball in the Women’s College World Series on Thursday in Oklahoma City. Photo by Ty Russell/Oklahoma Athletics

June 10 (UPI) — Catcher Kinzie Hansen hit a late three-run homer and the Oklahoma offense rallied from a two-run deficit to beat Texas in Game 2 of the Women’s College World Series and earn their second-consecutive national title.

The top-ranked softball team in the nation totaled 13 hits in the 10-5 victory Thursday at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. Shortstop Grace Lyons also hit a three-run homer for the Sooners (57-3).

The victory secured the Sooners’ place as one of the greatest college softball teams in history. They earned 41 run-rule wins, 33 shutouts, eight no-hitters and held foes to just one run or fewer in 49 games to secure the program’s sixth softball championship.

“I would say with me being a senior, I think this is the best team,” designated player Jocelyn Alo told reporters. “But one thing about Sooner softball, and I’ve seen it year in and year out, is they just continue to get better.

“I don’t know what holds next year, but I know that they could be a run for the best team too and years to come.”

Texas starter Estelle Czech did not allow a Sooners run for the first three innings. Longhorns shortstop Alyssa Washington and catcher Mary Iakopo each recorded sacrifice fly RBIs in the bottom of the first for a 2-0 lead.

Czech allowed two hits in the second, but Hansen was thrown out at home to keep the Sooners scoreless. The Longhorns pitcher walked Alo to lead off the third, but also escaped that inning unscathed.

The Sooners offense woke up in the fourth. Sooners outfielder Alyssa Brito hit a leadoff double to spark the rally. Hansen then reached base on a throwing error. Brito scored on that play to cut into the deficit. First baseman Taylon Snow followed with an RBI single, which tied the game.

The Sooners added four more runs in the fifth to break the game open. Brito smacked an RBI double to left field for the go-ahead run. Hansen hit a three-run homer to left in the next at-bat for a 6-2 Sooners lead.

Jennings pushed the lead to five runs with an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth. Lyons followed with her three-run homer for a 10-2 edge.

Longhorns third baseman Mia Scott belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh for the final runs of the game.

Brito, Hansen and Snow collected two hits apiece for the Sooners. Lyons, Brito and Hansen also each scored twice in the victory.

Scott went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored for the Longhorns. First baseman J.J. Smith also logged two hits in the loss. Longhorns center fielder Bella Dayton reached base three times through walks.

Czech allowed nine hits and six runs over 4 2/3 innings.

The Longhorns (45-21) were the first unseeded team in history to make it to the softball title series. The Sooners earned their fourth championship in six seasons. They appeared in the title series five times over that span and finished third to end the other postseason run.

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