Alo ends college career with another World Series win


OKLAHOMA CITY — Jocelyn Alo and Tiare Jennings put Oklahoma on the verge of a new national championship with their outstanding play throughout the Women’s College World Series.

Their teammates took him home.

Kinzie Hansen and Grace Lyons hit three-run homers, Jayda Coleman made spectacular defensive plays and No. 1 seed Oklahoma beat unranked Texas 10-5 on Thursday night to claim its second title consecutive.

Alo, two-time American College Softball Player of the Year, was named MVP. She hit .667 for the World Series, tied Jennings for a series record five homers, and set a series mark with 12 runs scored.

Alo ends his career with a Division I record 122 homers. More important to her, she ended one of the greatest college careers with a win.

“These are moments that I will remember forever,” she said. “I’m just happy to be in the lead and to know that all the hard work we put in has paid off.”

The Sooners (59-3) won the best of three series against their Big 12 rival 2-0 after winning Game 1 Wednesday 16-1 with a record six homers. It was Oklahoma’s sixth national championship and fifth of the last nine World Series.

Alo hit a hard single on his last at bat in the sixth inning and scored later. In the seventh, she stepped in to play in left field and caught two fly balls for the outs before leaving the game to a standing ovation.

The future looks bright for the Sooners. Jennings — just a sophomore — set a World Series record with 15 RBIs. Coleman is also a sophomore.

And then there’s Jordy Bahl of Oklahoma (22-1). The NFCA freshman has settled in after a rocky start. She allowed two runs and four hits in four innings.

“We’re all competitors, and when you’re a competitor, if there’s something else you can go for, you’re going to want to go for it,” Bahl said. “So I never worry about us losing our thirst to win more national championships. I’m going to enjoy this one.

Texas wasn’t even expected to reach the World Series, but the Longhorns expected a better performance than they gave in Game 1. Texas coach Mike White called Wednesday’s loss to Oklahoma embarrassing and thought Thursday’s effort was better.

“My job was to get them back, (get them) back and fight,” White said. “Make the fight in Texas. I thought we did that. I think we fought well. It just didn’t go our way.

Texas pitcher Estelle Czech (13-2) started Thursday’s game with three shutout innings, but struggled in the fourth and fifth and was substituted.

Mia Scott hit a three-run homer and JJ Smith had two hits for the Longhorns (47-22-1), who had survived six playoff games in an NCAA tournament before Thursday.

“I think it was worth it in the end to say we left it all there and emptied our gas tanks to get to where we are,” Texas catcher Mary Iakopo said.

The Longhorns looked set to compete on Thursday. They charged with no outs in the first and scored two runs, but Coleman jumped over the fence for a spectacular grab that deprived Courtney Day of a two-run homer and ended the inning.

“I’ve seen Jayda do this over and over and over in practice, but when it’s in a game and she has your back and everyone else on our defense, that stuff excites me more than anything. any strikeout,” Bahl said. . “It gives us momentum and really lets me breathe deeply because they got me.”

Oklahoma finally got on the board in fourth. After the Sooners got their first run on a pitching error, Taylon Snow’s RBI single tied the game at 2-all.

In the fourth, Coleman had another defensive gem, throwing a Texas runner to second off the warning lane.

Alyssa Brito’s RBI double in the fifth gave Oklahoma the lead for the first time, and Hansen’s outburst later in the inning put the Sooners up 6-2.

The crowd backed Alo at bat in the sixth, hoping for another outburst. Instead, her single loaded the basics. Two batters later, Lyons homer made it 10-2.

Then Alo had his moment in the seventh. Tears streamed down her face as she ran off the pitch.

“Coming back to back – no better way to end your career,” Alo said. “I’ve had five great years here, and it’s been tough at times, but I wouldn’t change it…I’ve enjoyed my trip here and I’m sad it’s coming to an end.”


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