We are just two weeks away from it being softball time in Oklahoma. The back-to-back-to-back national champions start their season on the road at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.
It’s not an easy start for the Sooners either. They start the season with two of their three games being against teams ranked in the top 10. Their all-time leading 53-game winning streak will be put to the test early.
But the Sooners returned a lot of their star power from a year ago. One of those is catcher Kinzie Hansen who was named the top catcher in college softball by Softball America (subscription required) earlier this week. In a tweet, Softball America said Hansen “sets the standard” for being an all-around catcher behind the dish and in the box.
Hansen absolutely does. She is arguably the best defensive catcher in the sport and then last season her bat came alive. She batted .409 with 57 RBIs and 13 home runs. Her most memorable moment wasn’t a great defensive play she made, although she made plenty of those as well, it was actually a clutch hit she made.
In Oklahoma’s second game in the Super Regional against the Clemson Tigers, Hansen came to the plate with the Sooners down 7-4 in the top of the 7th inning and their winning streak on the line. There were two people on base and arguably the best player in softball was staring at her on the mound.
She got down 0-2 in the count before rocketing a ball to deep left field for the game-tying home run. The Sooners would go on to win 8-7, advance to the Women’s College World Series and the rest is history.
— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 27, 2023
Showing once again why the Sooners are lucky to have her behind the plate for one more ride.