Looking back on Oklahoma's national title run

In order to reach historic highs, Oklahoma also had to experience historic lows during its run to a fourth straight national championship.

The expectations were sky high coming off a 61-1 season the year before and holding a 53-game winning streak, the longest in NCAA history. Those past accomplishments weren’t going to help them win games in 2024 and just added to the attention they received when they lost.

Jayda Coleman said the success and the attention that it brought was both a burden and a blessing.

“As we went on, if we lost one game, two games, lost to Texas, everyone had an opinion about us,” she said. “It was frustrating just to see everyone on Twitter, TikTok hoping anybody else but us. Well... That didn’t happen, so... We’re blessed.”

The Sooners went 59-7, winning a Big 12 tournament title and going 10-1 in the NCAA tournament on their way to the program’s eighth national title.

Here’s a look at some of the key moments from the Sooners’ championship run:

1. Pitching changes — The story of Oklahoma’s 2024 national championship run truly began during the summer of 2023. Shortly after winning it all, ace pitcher Jordy Bahl announced her decision to transfer to Nebraska. Not long after, Kelly Maxwell shocked the softball world by transferring from Oklahoma State to Oklahoma. She would take over as the Sooners’ ace pitcher, winning 23 games in the circle with a 1.95 ERA.

2. Opening Love’s Field — The Sooners moved to their new home at Love’s Field this season, hosting their home tournament for its grand opening March 1. They beat Miami (OH), 9-7, in the opener; 4,450 fans attended the opener, setting a new home attendance record.

3. The streak ends — The defending champions faced their first adversity of the season during their first weekend at their new stadium. They lost, 9-7, to Louisiana in extra innings, ending their winning streak at 71 games. It was also the first game they had lost at home in over four years.

4. A new streak starts — The Sooners went right back to dominating their competition after their first loss of the season. They went on to win 17-straight games and run-ruled seven of those opponents and only allowed five opponents to score multiple runs.

4. Losses to the Longhorns — After beating Texas 5-2 in the opener, the Sooners dropped back-to-back games in Austin for the first time since the Big 12 moved to three-game series. They would go on to win their next three games over the Longhorns to win a Big 12 and national title.

5. Bedlam series — The Sooners suffered their second conference series loss of the season at home in Bedlam on the first weekend of May. They were outscored 12-5 over the first two games before bouncing back to win the finale, 8-2. Gasso said the game appeared to be a turning point in the Sooners’ season. Before that win, they had lost five of their last 12 games. They went on to win 10 straight and 13 of their next 14 games on their way to winning the national championship.

6. Big 12 title — Oklahoma failed to win a Big 12 regular season title for the first time in 12 seasons. It run-ruled Kansas and BYU in the first two games of the Big 12 tournament to set up a revenge game against the Longhorns. The Sooners won 5-1 to win their ninth conference tournament title.

7. Drama in the semis — The Sooners earned the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and went undefeated in regional and super regional play to return to Oklahoma City. They were playing as well as they had all season, opening up the Women’s College World Series with a 9-1 win over Duke and a 1-0 win over UCLA. Just one win away from returning to the championship series, Florida stunned the Sooners with a 9-3 win in the semifinal. It was the program’s biggest margin of defeat at the WCWS since 2019. The following day, they weathered another home run barrage from the Gators, but tied the game late to force extra innings. Coleman hit a walk-off home run to set up a championship series of No. 1 versus No. 2 for just the second time since 2005.

8. Championship series — The Sooners batted first in the series opener and Tiare Jennings put them up early with a two-run home run. Maxwell started in the circle for the second time in two games and overcame an early home run to pitch one of her best games of the season. She held the Longhorns hitless and scoreless over four straight innings in an 8-3 win. The Sooners used five different pitchers in Game 2 and their offense produced 12 hits to clinch the championship with an 8-4 win. They outhit the Longhorns 21-11 over two games with four home runs.