The Women's College World Series began on Thursday, as eight teams vie for the 2024 NCAA championship title.

UCLA, Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida have already moved on to the winners' bracket, emerging from Thursday's first round victorious. Meanwhile Alabama, Duke, Stanford, and Oklahoma State will face elimination tonight after all suffering first-round losses.

Texas and Oklahoma enter the final week of the postseason as top seeds, with the Longhorns winning the regular season and the Sooners taking the Big 12 Tournament Championship. Oklahoma is currently eyeing their fourth-straight title, having won every NCAA softball championship since the suspended season in 2020.

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Despite an excellent regular season, Texas is still on the hunt for its first softball championship. And in yesterday's decisive win 4-0 over Stanford, Texas freshman Teagan Kavan became the first freshman in college history to throw a complete game shutout. 

"I knew I was prepared and had been in front of a big stage before," Kavan said of her performance on Thursday.

The Blue Devils are also making NCAA history this week. Duke's Marissa Young — the first Black head coach in WCWS history — will lead the Blue Devils to their first visit to the final round of the softball playoffs Friday as they face off against Alabama.

Thursday’s session brought in 12,566 fans — a new session attendance record for the WCWS. All games will be broadcast live across ABC and ESPN networks.

Don't miss a moment of the action:

Game 5: Alabama vs. Duke — Friday, May 31st at 7 PM ET on ESPN2
Game 6: Stanford vs. Oklahoma State — Friday, May 31st at 9:30 PM ET on ESPN2
Game 7: UCLA vs. Oklahoma — Saturday, June 1st at 3 PM ET on ABC
Game 8: Texas vs. Florida — Saturday, June 1st at 7 PM ET on ESPN

The best college softball teams in the country competed at the 2023 NCAA Women’s College World Series at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, and for the third straight year, the Oklahoma Sooners came out on top.

No. 1 Oklahoma won its third consecutive NCAA title — and ended the season on a historic winning streak. Competition began on June 1 and continued through June 8.

Just Women’s Sports kept tabs on the action as it unfolds. See below for the full game schedule, and an explainer on how the Women’s College World Series bracket works.

Which teams are competing at the 2023 Women’s College World Series?

Sixty-four teams competed in the NCAA softball championship this spring, with eight ultimately qualifying for this week’s Women’s College World Series (WCWS).

In order to qualify for the WCWS, each team had to first make it through a four-team regional competition (featuring a double-elimination bracket), followed by a two-team super regional championship (featuring a best-of-three format).

These are the eight teams that qualified for the 2023 WCWS:

  • No. 1 Oklahoma
  • No. 3 Florida State
  • No. 4 Tennessee
  • No. 5 Alabama
  • No. 6 Oklahoma State
  • No. 7 Washington
  • No. 9 Stanford
  • No. 15 Utah

How does the bracket work at the Women’s College World Series?

The Women’s College World Series uses a double elimination bracket for the first stage, followed by a best-of-3 championship series.

Competition begins with the eight teams competing in a bracket. When a team loses its first game, it will be sent to the elimination bracket with a chance to play its way back into the main bracket. But when a team loses its second game, it is eliminated from contention.

The winner from each side of the bracket meets in the best-of-three championship series.

2023 Women’s College World Series — Schedule and Results

The Women’s College World Series began June 1 and continued through June 8. See below for a full schedule. All games were available on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC — in addition to streaming on ESPN+.

In the semifinals, Stanford faced off against Oklahoma and nearly pulled off a Game 1 upset. Stanford freshman sensation NiJaree Canady was lights out against the Sooner batters in their WCWS opener and pushed them to the brink again Monday, but Oklahoma won 4-2 in nine innings to advance to their fourth straight championship series.

Florida State also had entered the championship series undefeated, defeating Tennessee 5-1 in Monday’s other semifinal game. But FSU lost its only regular season meeting with Oklahoma, falling 5-4 on March 14.

In the opening game of the WCWS finals, Oklahoma claimed a dominant 5-0 win against FSU, led by pitcher Jordy Bahl’s complete game shutout. The Sooners closed out their third straight title with a 3-1 win, in which Bahl recorded a three-inning save.

June 1:

  • Game 1: Tennessee 10, Alabama 5
  • Game 2: Oklahoma 2, Stanford 0
  • Game 3: Florida State 8, Oklahoma State 0

June 2:

  • Game 4: Washington 4, Utah 1
    • Note: Originally scheduled for June 1, but postponed due to weather
  • Game 5: Stanford 2, Alabama 0
  • Game 6: Oklahoma State 8, Utah 0

June 3:

  • Game 7: Oklahoma 9, Tennessee 0
  • Game 8: Florida State 3, Washington 1

June 4:

  • Game 9: Stanford 1, Washington 0
  • Game 10: Tennessee 3, Oklahoma State 1

June 5:

  • Game 11: Oklahoma 4, Stanford 2 (9 innings)
    • Game 12 not needed after Stanford elimination
  • Game 13: Florida State 5, Tennessee 1
    • Game 14 not needed after Tennessee elimination

Championship Finals (Best of 3)
No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Florida State

The NCAA softball super regionals are complete, with eight teams advancing to the Women’s College World Series.

Just Women’s Sports breaks down all eight matchups. Each best-of-three series was hosted by the higher seed.

Norman Super Regional — Norman, Oklahoma
No. 1 Oklahoma eliminates No. 16 Clemson, 2-0

  • Game 1: Oklahoma 9, Clemson 2
  • Game 2: Oklahoma 8, Clemson 7 (9)
  • Oklahoma advances to the Women’s College World Series

Oklahoma broke the record for longest winning streak in NCAA softball history with Saturday’s comeback win over Clemson, which marked the Sooners’ 48th win — besting the mark set by Alabama, which strung together 47 wins between 1996 and 1997. The two-time reigning champions have lost just one game all season, way back in February.

Tallahassee Super Regional — Tallahassee, Florida
No. 3 Florida State eliminates No. 14 Georgia, 2-0

  • Game 1: Florida State 8, Georgia 1
  • Game 2: Florida State 4, Georgia 2
  • Florida State advances to the Women’s College World Series

Florida State pitcher Kathryn Sandercock threw a perfect game to send her team to the super regionals. The ACC regular season and tournament title winners, the Seminoles sold out tickets for the super regional round in just one minute.

Knoxville Super Regional — Knoxville, Tennessee
No. 4 Tennessee eliminates No. 13 Texas, 2-0

  • Game 1: Tennessee 5, Texas 2
  • Game 2: Tennessee 9, Texas 0
  • Tennessee advances to the Women’s College World Series

While teams went undefeated in their regionals, the Volunteers advance to the WCWS, capping their super regionals sweep with a six-run seventh inning to close out a 9-0 win against the Longhorns.

Tuscaloosa Super Regional — Tuscaloosa, Alabama
No. 5 Alabama eliminates No. 12 Northwestern, 2-1

  • Game 1: Northwestern 3, Alabama 1
  • Game 2: Alabama 2, Northwestern 1
  • Game 3: Alabama 3, Northwestern 2
  • Alabama advances to the Women’s College World Series

Despite losing the first game, Alabama responded in games 2 and 3 to make it to their 14th WCWS. Northwestern landed plenty on base, but ultimately could not complete the series.

Stillwater Super Regional — Stillwater, Oklahoma
No. 6 Oklahoma State eliminates Oregon, 2-0

  • Game 1: Oklahoma State 8, Oregon 1
  • Game 2: Oklahoma State 9, Oregon 0
  • Oklahoma State advances to the Women’s College World Series

With the 2-0 series win, Oklahoma State will compete in the WCWS for a third straight year. Oregon was one of just three unseeded teams to make it to the super regional round.

Seattle Super Regional — Seattle, Washington
No. 7 Washington eliminates Louisiana, 2-0

  • Game 1: Washington 8, Louisiana 0 (5)
  • Game 2: Washington 2, Louisiana 0
  • Washington advances to the Women’s College World Series

Perhaps nobody had a crazier game entering the super regionals than Washington, who came back from down six runs in the final inning to win and advance. The Huskies then swept Louisiana with two shutouts to reach the WCWS.

Durham Super Regional — Durham, North Carolina
No. 9 Stanford eliminates No. 8 Duke, 2-0

  • Game 1: Stanford 3, Duke 1
  • Game 2: Stanford 7, Duke 2
  • Stanford advances to the Women’s College World Series

Stanford advances to its third WCWS in program history and its first since 2004. Alana Vawter picked up her 20th win for the Cardinal in Saturday’s series-clinching win.

Salt Lake City Super Regional — Salt Lake City, Utah
No. 15 Utah eliminates San Diego State, 2-1

  • Game 1: San Diego State 4, Utah 3
  • Game 2: Utah 10, San Diego State 1
  • Game 3: Utah 7, San Diego State 2
  • Utah advances to the Women’s College World Series

Everything went right for Utah on Sunday, as they took down San Diego State to advance to their first WCWS since 1994.

Once again, scheduling at the Women’s College World Series is a point of contention for coaches and fans.

Oklahoma exploded offensively in Game 2 to force a Game 3 in the series and, despite the fact that the two teams will be playing for a national title, the game is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on Thursday instead of primetime.

The scheduling issue came up earlier in the tournament, after Florida State and Oklahoma State played a WCWS game Sunday that started around midnight due to a rain delay and didn’t end until after 3 a.m. ET. Just 12 hours later, Florida State was back at it, playing Alabama at 3:30 p.m. ET on Monday for a spot in the championship series.

“It’s very uncomfortable when we are talking to our players about standing up for what is right, yet what is happening around us is not right,” Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said earlier this week. “And the players will do whatever you put in front of them. They’re not going to complain. They’re going to go to bed at 3, wake up at 7, because it’s the World Series. But that’s not the memory they need to have.”

It’s not the first time that Gasso has raised the issue of the WCWS format with the NCAA. About a month ago, she pointed out the differences between the men’s and women’s tournaments — namely that the men’s College World Series stretches out over nearly two weeks and doesn’t include doubleheaders, while the women’s tournament is more compressed.

The men’s and women’s World Series events drew similar television ratings in 2019. This year, viewership for the softball tournament has been up. The first game of the championship series averaged 1,862,000 viewers on ESPN, a 37 percent increase over last year’s Game 1 and the largest audience for a Finals Game 1 on record.

Despite this, the final game of the WCWS — the one that will crown a national champion — airs at 3 p.m. ET midweek. ESPN, which has contractual obligations with the NBA, has an NBA playoff doubleheader scheduled for Thursday night.

As Michigan State coach Jacquie Joseph told the Washington Post in April: “What’s lower than an afterthought? That’s us.”

Tune in to watch Oklahoma and Florida State battle it out for the national title at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.

For some freshmen, the big stage can be overwhelming. Those freshmen aren’t named Kaeli Harding and Kaley Mudge. 

Harding had a home run and four runs batted in to lead the way for the Seminoles. Not to be outdone, Mudge had three hits of her own, increasing her WCWS total to a record-tying 13. Before the World Series, the freshman had 16 hits all season.

Despite a late-effort comeback by Oklahoma, Florida State’s offensive explosion was too much to overcome as the Seminoles beat the Sooners 8-4.

Harding had the first big play of the night, with a monster throw in the second that led to an out at third.

From there, Florida State’s bats came alive, as Harding then launched a dinger in the top of the third to put the Seminoles on the board first.

She then hit a double in the second to bring in two more and bring the lead total to four.

Not one to go quietly, the Sooners would prove just how dangerous they are – even when down big. In the bottom of the sixth, Mackenzie Danihoo hit a double to cut the lead to three.

The second game of the series kicks off tonight on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET, with Florida State having the chance to win yet another national title.

Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea officially announced his retirement Monday.

Candrea, 65, amassed a legendary career with the Wildcats, becoming the winningest softball coach of all time. 

Under his leadership, the Wildcats won eight national championships, made 24 Women’s College World Series appearances, won 10 conference championships and coached 53 All-Americans while winning 1,674 games. 

He also coached the USA Softball team to gold in the 2004 Olympics and silver in the 2008 Olympics. 

Four-time All-American and 2008 U.S. Olympic Team member Caitlin Lowe, who has spent the past nine seasons on Candrea’s staff, has been named his replacement. 

Candrea will continue to work with the Arizona athletic department, serving in an advisory role as well as assisting with coaching development.

Odicci Alexander received an emotional standing ovation while exiting Monday’s Women’s College World Series semifinal between James Madison and Oklahoma.

Walking to the dugout in the bottom of the fifth inning, the James Madison pitcher was showered with cheers by the Sooners-heavy crowd.

In James Madison’s improbable run at the WCWS, Alexander threw 1,057 pitches and recorded 66 strikeouts, second most during the tournament.

Oklahoma advanced to the championship series with a 7-1 win Monday, but JMU made history in its first WCWS appearance and Alexander’s heroic performance earned her national adoration.

Florida State and Oklahoma have advanced out of the loser’s bracket and are heading to the Women’s College World Series Championship Finals.

After dropping the tournament-opener to James Madison, Oklahoma rallied to win four consecutive games to keep the school’s title hopes alive.

On Monday, the Sooners got their shot at revenge. In a semifinal rematch of the opening round upset, Oklahoma surged to a 7-1 win over James Madison, securing the school a spot in the championship series.

Florida State also survived the loser’s bracket, clawing their way back to the finals with an 8-5 win over Alabama on Monday.  The Seminoles sprinted to an early 8-0 lead in the third inning and held off a late Alabama surge to earn the school a spot in the title matchup.

The best of three championship series between Oklahoma and Florida State begins Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

It’s do-or-die time in the Women’s College World Series. 

Four teams play today — only two will advance to the championship series.

On Sunday, Oklahoma got their revenge and took down James Madison 6-3 after losing to them earlier in the first game of the World Series. James Madison tied it at three in the bottom of the fourth, before Kinzie Hansen hit a clinching two-run bomb. 

The two teams will face off once more for a trip to the championship series tonight at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN. 

Florida State, meanwhile, ended Alabama’s 20-game win streak, forcing a winner-take-all Monday night game. The Seminoles won 2-0, with Josie Muffly driving in Dani Morgan in the bottom of the sixth to get the insurance run.

Florida State and Alabama will play again tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. 

The winners of both games advance to the best-of-three championships series, which begins tomorrow. 

Montana Fouts made history Friday night, throwing a perfect game in Alabama’s 6-0 win over UCLA. It’s only the fifth perfect game in Women’s College World Series history and the first since 2000.

Fouts totaled 14 strikeouts against UCLA.

After the game, the Alabama pitcher told media that the key to her historic performance was trust in the process and her team.

“I was just going pitch by pitch,” said Fouts.

Alabama is now one win away from a slot in the Women’s College World Series championship round.