Oklahoma to defend Women’s College World Series title

Oklahoma State's Karli Petty (14) returns home after hitting a home run against Clemson in a super regional game at the NCAA Softball Tournament in Stillwater, Okla., Friday, May 27, 2022. (Nathan J. Fish/The Oklahoman via AP)

Oklahoma State’s Karli Petty (14) returns home after hitting a home run against Clemson in a super regional game at the NCAA Softball Tournament in Stillwater, Okla., Friday, May 27, 2022. (Nathan J. Fish/The Oklahoman via AP)

PA

Oklahoma is back to try and defend its national championship at the Women’s College World Series.

The top-seeded Sooners beat Central Florida in super regional games on Friday and Saturday to qualify and will face Northwestern in their World Series opener on Thursday in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma has won four of the last eight national titles under coach Patty Gasso and beat Florida State to win it all last year. Oklahoma’s biggest star – slugger Jocelyn Alo – is the reigning USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and Division I career league leader.

Northwestern rallied to beat Arizona State 8-6 in Game 3 of their super regional on Sunday night to set up the game against the Sooners.

The World Series begins with an eight-team double-elimination tournament, followed by a best-of-three championship series starting June 8.

Florida is the only member of the often dominant Southeastern Conference to qualify. The 14th-seeded Gators beat No. 3 Virginia Tech on Sunday 12-0 in Game 3 of their Super Regional.

Florida will face unranked Oregon State on Thursday. Oregon State has beaten Stanford in back-to-back Super Regionals after riding through No. 11 Tennessee in regionals.

UCLA, which has the most NCAA titles with 12, qualified by defeating Duke in both super regional games. The Bruins will face Texas on Thursday. The Longhorns upset No. 4 seed Arkansas in three games in super regional play.

Oklahoma State is back for the third straight year. The seventh-seeded Cowgirls beat Clemson in both super regional games. Oklahoma State will face unranked Arizona, which beat unranked Mississippi State in the Super Regionals, on Thursday.

The draw didn’t go to plan as top seeded No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 Virginia Tech, No. 4 Arkansas and No. 6 Alabama failed to qualify for the World Series.

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