For the second straight year and third time in the last five seasons, the Oklahoma Sooners are NCAA Division I softball national champions. The Sooners clinched the Women's College World Series (WCWS) national title with a 5-4 win Tuesday evening against Florida.
Oklahoma finished the 2017 season with a 61-9 (17-1 Big 12) record to earn the fourth title in program and Big 12 history. OU is also the fourth program in WCWS to earn back-to-back titles.
Oklahoma offered the first blow with Nicole Mendes' leadoff home run in the bottom of the first. The Gators countered, responding with three runs in their next time up in the top of the second. And like the night before, the Sooners responded by scoring four more of their own in the bottom of the second.
Leading the team was Shay Knighten with one hit, three RBI on the evening after doubling up right centerfield in the second. Caleigh Clifton earned two runs while Nicole Mendes, Macey Hatfield, Lea Wodach and Kelsey Arnold each added a run. Pitcher Mariah Lopez (18-1) recorded the win while Paige Lowary the save.
OU's sweep of top-seeded Florida began with a 17 inning, five hours and 28 minute finals opener and ended in a 7-5, Oklahoma score. The game, which was the longest game in WCWS history, included 495 pitches, 333 strikes, 122 at-bats, 40 strikeouts in what would later be called an “epic, epic battle” by head coach Patty Gasso.