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Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo relives race to NCAA home run record

(C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Jocelyn Alo is looking to add to her already impressive résumé as the Oklahoma softball star continues her quest to defend the Sooners’ 2021 national championship.

With the largest margin of victory in NCAA tournament history Sunday, Oklahoma downed Texas A&M 20-0 in five innings to advance to the school’s 12th straight Super Regionals appearance.

Alo was her big-hitting self during the contest, knocking in her 115th career home run to help her side complete a dominant start to the postseason.

As the redshirt senior eyes a second Women’s College World Series title, Alo is looking back at her historic career.

Perhaps the most pivotal moment came in March, when Alo hit the 96th homer of her career to become NCAA softball’s all-time leading home run hitter.

“It’s a win for women’s sports in general because obviously we might not get the coverage, we might not get the media, the things that we deserve,” Alo told ESPN of her achievement. “If I can put the sport out and just have it get the media and coverage that it deserves, then I say it’s a win.”

The record, however, placed a lot of unwanted attention and stress on Alo, who went eight games between her record-tying and record-breaking homer — the longest drought of her career.

A media circus followed Alo and Oklahoma from game to game, with fans acutely aware of what was at stake every time the senior stepped up to the plate.

“I just wanted to get the record over with just because of how much buzz was around it and how many walks I was getting,” Alo told ESPN. “I was like, ‘Come on guys, let’s just compete.'”

When Alo finally broke the record, she did so at the University of Hawai’i, in her home state. The moment brought the softball star and hometown hero full circle.

“To be able to hit it in Hawai’i, against Hawai’i, on the field where she won the high school state championship and all of her families who can’t ever get here [to Oklahoma] — her sisters, her mother, a huge, huge, huge family — they were all there to witness this, and it truly could not have been scripted any better,” Sooners hitting coach JT Gasso said to ESPN. “It was just, it was just the most emotional, tremendous moment. One of the best I’ve ever had as a coach, just watching her go through that.”

With her mark forever on collegiate softball, Alo looks to add a national title defense to her name as Oklahoma prepares to take on UCF at the NCAA Super Regionals. The first game of the three-game series is set for 4:30 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN2.