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Editorial: OU women earn title of most dominant team in sports

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WCWS Oklahoma Texas Softball (copy)

Oklahoma players celebrate with the trophy after defeating Texas in the NCAA Women’s College World Series softball finals in Oklahoma City on June 9.

No other team has been more competitive, more determined and more fun to watch this year than the University of Oklahoma’s softball team.

Shattering record after record, the Sooner squad took its second-straight Women’s College World Series last week, winning the program’s sixth national championship overall. We are proud of what they accomplished and offer our congratulations.

In May, ESPN called the OU team the “most dominant team in sports.” That is an understatement diminished further by OU’s obliteration of the competition in the WCWS, including a 2-0 series sweep of Big 12 rival Texas in the finals.

Power hitter Jocelyn Alo ends her college career with the most home runs in history at 122. She shattered the record in March when she hit her 96th homer.

Alo not only has back-to-back NCAA titles, but she also earned consecutive USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honors. She was named the Big 12 Player of the Year and was named to the All-Big 12 First Team for four years.

While Alo stands as one of the best athletes of all time, she has been surrounded by a team of tremendous players.

The OU women led the nation in batting average, scoring and ERA and set records as a team for the most home runs (17) and runs (64) scored in a WCWS, breaking the previous records, which they set last year (15, 49).

The Sooners went 59-3, with 40 of those wins by run rule. Six players had 13 or more home runs this season, including Grace Lyons (23), Tiare Jennings (29) and Alo (34).

It was common to see home runs and grand slams knocked over the fence. They moved the game quickly and with spectacular skill.

This is a team that wasn’t just dominant; it was arguably the greatest of all time. These women will be the sources of stories from spectators to sportswriters for generations to come.

Behind it all is head coach Patty Gasso, who built this dynasty. She arrived in October 1994 to a program that didn’t even have a stadium and trash littering the existing field. Now she’s among the elite of coaches.

Gasso molded the program to become among the nation’s most fierce. Her efforts transformed the sport and elevated the profile of OU athletics.

What’s more, Gasso’s program seems to be growing stronger, winning back-to-back titles twice this decade and four of the last six NCAA championships.

In terms of college coaching greats, this is putting the Sooners’ skipper in the rarefied air of Nick Saban, Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma. Gasso’s teams don’t just win and win often, but they do so with uncommon dominance.

So take a moment to reflect on what OU’s women have accomplished and how they did it. This was a special season in an incredible era of college athletics.

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