Former Oklahoma slugger Jocelyn Alo has signed on with Athletes Unlimited and will compete in the AU Pro Softball AUX this June.

The NCAA record holder in career home runs (122), total bases (761), and slugging percentage (.987), Alo was originally drafted by the league in 2022 but opted instead to join the newly debuted Women’s Professional Fastpitch

Alo currently plays for independent pro softball team Oklahoma City Spark, with team owner Tina Floyd reportedly on board with her recent AUX signing. AUX games are scheduled for June 10-25, while the Spark's season will kick off June 19th. Alo will play for both. 

Among those joining Alo on the AUX roster are former James Madison ace pitcher Odicci Alexander and former Wichita State standout middle infielder Sydney McKinney.

According to Alo, the decision to play in the Athletes Unlimited league was fueled by her desire to propel women's sports forward as well as provide more exposure to a sport that's given her "so many opportunities."

"Not only to challenge myself more, but just for the growth of the game," Alo said, explaining her reasoning to The Oklahoman. "I genuinely believe that professional softball can be a career for girls."

Joining AUX is also one more step in her plan toward representing Team USA at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

"I’m constantly thinking about how can I do these little things right in these four years to prepare me for the biggest stage of softball," she told The Oklahoman. "I definitely want to play in the Olympics, for sure."

Alo further expressed enthusiasm in the hope that the rise of other women’s sports, like women’s basketball and the NWSL, will push softball’s professional viability even higher.

"We’re seeing the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) get their stuff going, I see the WNBA starting to get hot," she continued. "I feel like the softball community is like, 'All right, it’s our turn and it’s our turn to just demand more.'"

After leading Oklahoma to a third straight title at the 2023 Women’s College World Series, sophomore pitcher Jordy Bahl will return to her home state of Nebraska to continue her career, she announced Monday.

A native of Papillion, Nebraska, Bahl enters the transfer portal fresh off a star performance at the WCWS, in which she tossed 24 ⅔ scoreless innings across five games and won the Most Outstanding Player award. She recorded a three-inning save in the series-clinching win against Florida State.

While Bahl initially did not specify a destination, she revealed Thursday that she will join the Nebraska Cornhuskers. She had committed to the Cornhuskers as a high school freshman before reopening her recruitment and joining the Sooners.

“I have decided to return home and play the game I love, closer to the things that have made me who I am and that have always been more important to me than this game,” Bahl wrote.

Her career ERA for Oklahoma is 1.00. The two-time All-American finished the 2023 season with a 0.90 ERA, second in the country behind Stanford’s NiJaree Canady, and helped the Sooners finish the season on an NCAA record 53-game winning streak. Yet she will not be on hand as the team looks to extend that streak next spring.

Bahl described the move as “bittersweet,” and she thanked the Oklahoma program, her teammates and her coaches for the opportunities she received. But she also described the difficulty of being away from her home, and her excitement to grow the game in the “overlooked state” of Nebraska.

“I am excited to finish the softball journey right where it began,” she wrote.

Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso supported Bahl’s decision, describing her as “the ultimate competitor” and praising her “approach and dedication to the game.”

“We’re understanding of her situation and certainly want her to be the happiest she can be,” Gasso said.

Oklahoma softball cemented its status as one of the greatest programs in women’s college sports, winning its third straight Women’s College World Series title, its fifth in the last seven years and its seventh overall.

The Sooners’ performance this season – which included an NCAA-record 53 consecutive victories and counting – begs the question: Who are the top dynasties in women’s college sports? While this list is by no means exhaustive, Just Women’s Sports takes a look at 10 programs in addition to Oklahoma who can count themselves among the best.

LSU Track & Field (25 titles)

LSU is the most successful team in the history of NCAA Division I women’s track and field, with 25 total titles — 14 at the outdoor championships and 11 at the indoor championships. The Tigers ran off 11 straight outdoor titles from 1987-97 and five straight indoor titles from 1993-97. Their most recent championship came in 2008 at the outdoor championships.

UNC Soccer (21 titles)

UNC women’s soccer might be the most successful women’s team in NCAA history, across all sports, with a capital P period. Just six other programs have multiple titles in women’s soccer, with none of them even reaching double digits. The Tar Heels, meanwhile, have 21 of them – all of which have come under head coach Anson Dorrance, which makes him the third-most national title-winning coach in NCAA history.

UNC won the first three national titles in NCAA women’s soccer history starting in 1982, before George Mason upset the Tar Heels in 1985. But in 1986, UNC was back on top, reeling off nine consecutive national titles thanks to the likes of Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly.

Starting with the 1980s, there hasn’t been a decade in which North Carolina hasn’t won a national title, although the program’s last one came back in 2012. Since then, Florida State has turned itself into a perennial contender with three national championships, while UCLA has won two.

Maryland Lacrosse (14 titles)

In the sport of women’s lacrosse, two teams have established themselves as dynasties: Maryland and Northwestern. Maryland has won 14 NCAA titles, the most in the history of the sport, with their most recent coming in 2019. From 1995 to 2001, the team rattled off seven straight titles, then won four titles in a six-year span from 2014 to 2019. All but one of those titles came under former coach Cindy Timchal and current coach Cathy Reese.

UCLA Softball (12 titles)

While Oklahoma may be creeping up on UCLA with its seven titles, the Bruins still have won the most in NCAA softball history with 12. The winners of the first-ever Women’s College World Series, they haven’t stopped winning since then, including their run of three straight titles from 1988 to 1990 – a feat only matched by Oklahoma. The Bruins’ last title came in 2019.

UConn Basketball (11 titles)

UConn is always in the conversation when it comes to contenders for the NCAA women’s basketball championship. The Huskies won their first title in 1995, and since then they have been in a battle with Tennessee for the best program in NCAA history. UConn rattled off three titles in a row from 2002-04, then four in a row from 2013-16. The 2016 run stands as the program’s most recent championship.

The Huskies also dominate the regular season, with many of the game’s best – from Diana Taurasi to Sue Bird – creating a force to be reckoned with. From 2014-17, the Huskies rattled off a win-streak of 111 games. They also compiled a regular-season conference winning streak of 145 games, which ended in 2022.

Stanford Swimming & Diving (11 titles)

A perennial powerhouse known for churning out Olympians, Stanford has won an NCAA-leading 11 titles, including five straight from 1992-96. The Cardinal also won three in a row from 2017-19. Recently, Virginia has made a name for itself, winning the last three NCAA titles to start its own swimming dynasty.

Georgia Gymnastics (10 titles)

It’s been awhile since Georgia has topped the gymnastics world, but once upon a time the Bulldogs did just that, rattling off five straight gymnastics titles from 2005-09 and claiming an NCAA-leading 10th title in 2009. Oklahoma has started to creep up on the Georgia dynasty, winning six titles in the last 10 years, including the last two titles.

UNC Field Hockey (10 titles)

When talking about dynasties, UNC field hockey has to be counted among the best. The Tar Heels have won four of the last five national titles to reach 10 total, the most in NCAA history (Maryland has the second-most with eight). Their 10th title capped off an undefeated season, and the Tar Heels also went undefeated in 2018 and 2019 en route to their first national titles since 2009.

Northwestern Lacrosse (8 titles)

The other major player in lacrosse, Northwestern returned to dominant form this season, rattling off 21 consecutive wins to take its eighth national title under Kelly Amonte Hiller and its first since 2012. Bolstered by Tewaaraton Award winner Izzy Scane, the Wildcats dominated in the title game. They won 18-6 over Boston College, which had made six straight appearances in the national championship game. Amonte Hiller’s eight national championships as a head coach are tied for the most ever in NCAA women’s lacrosse.

Tennessee Basketball (8 titles)

For close to four decades, Pat Summitt led a dominant Lady Vols team that won eight national titles. The legendary coach herself held an 84.2% winning percentage. The only team to have appeared in all 36 NCAA tournaments, Tennessee also has made 34 Sweet 16s, including their most recent in 2023. Their last title came in 2008, although coach Kellie Harper has started to build the program back to its former glory.

Oklahoma softball closed out its historically dominant season with even more dominance, sweeping Florida State in the 2023 Women’s College World Series finals en route to a third straight NCAA championship.

The Sooners (61-1) beat Florida State 3-1 on Thursday behind back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning, handing star FSU pitcher Kathryn Sandercock her first loss since March 12. They extended their own NCAA record winning streak to 53 games, with their last loss coming on Feb. 19.

With the win, Oklahoma also becomes just the second team to win three consecutive NCAA Division I softball titles, joining the UCLA Bruins, who did so in 1988-90. Yet despite their dominance throughout the season, the twin pressures of the winning streak and the championship streak weighed on the Sooners.

“What you feel right now from us is freedom, because it was absolutely suffocating as we’re going along,” Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso told ESPN on the field after the game. “The expectations were overwhelming, but they handled it like champions and that’s why we are here right now.”

Oklahoma’s bats contributed to the win, particularly the home runs from Cydney Sanders and Grace Lyons, but the pitching and defense did their part as well.

Oklahoma outfielder Jayda Coleman robbed a would-be three-run home run from FSU’s Kalei Harding in the third inning.

And Oklahoma took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning, Gasso put pitcher Jordy Bahl in the circle to hold onto it. Bahl had been lights out throughout the WCWS, and she retired all nine hitters she faced Thursday to secure the win.

“I don’t have a lot of words right now,” Bahl said in an interview with ESPN on the field after the game. “…We stick together. It’s not just one person who feels it, we all feel it. Sticking together is one of the toughest challenges this year.”

Oklahoma softball completed its Women’s College World Series three-peat Thursday night, sweeping Florida State to take its third consecutive title.

With the 3-1 victory against FSU, the Sooners finished the season on a 53-game winning streak. Check out more of the numbers behind their record-breaking season.

0.96

Oklahoma’s ERA ranked first in NCAA Division I by a wide margin. The next closest team, Central Arkansas, had a team ERA of 1.50. The Sooners’ pitching staff allowed just three runs across five games in the WCWS.

3

The Sooners became just the second team in NCAA softball history to win three WCWS titles in a row, joining the UCLA Bruins, who won the 1988, 1989 and 1990 titles. No team has won four in a row.

8.08

No other team in NCAA Division I averaged more than 6.87 runs per game. Oklahoma also led all D-I teams in batting average, home runs per game and slugging.

11

For the 11th time in 12 seasons, Oklahoma reached the WCWS. In that span, the Sooners have won six titles. The program has won seven overall.

24 ⅔

Sophomore ace Jordy Bahl tossed 24 ⅔ scoreless innings in the WCWS, including a complete-game shutout in the first game of the championship series against Florida State. She finished the WCWS with 33 strikeouts compared to just 12 hits allowed, earning her the Most Outstanding Player award.

53

With its sweep of Clemson in the super regionals, Oklahoma broke the NCAA softball record for consecutive wins, set by Arizona across the 1996-97 seasons. The Sooners kept the streak alive through the end of the season, finishing with 53 in a row and a 61-1 record.

109

Oklahoma has not lost in 109 days, since falling 4-3 against Baylor on Feb. 19. By the time the Sooners take the field again in 2024, they’ll have gone more than 300 days without a defeat.

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

Sophomore pitcher Jordy Bahl has propelled Oklahoma softball to the brink of a third consecutive Women’s College World Series title.

The Sooners’ winning streak reached 52 games with Wednesday’s 5-0 victory against Florida State, which puts them one game away from a third consecutive national title.

Bahl tossed a complete-game shutout, adding to her already impressive WCWS run. She has thrown 21 ⅔ scoreless innings, including 30 strikeouts compared to just 12 hits and three walks.

“She is made to be able to do that,” Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said. “She wants the ball like nobody’s business. Not that we don’t have faith in our others. It’s just she is like a very, very hot pitcher right now. She’s throwing the best she has all season right now.

“You want to take advantage of that without running her too hard where she’s going to run out of gas.”

And Bahl can contribute on offense too. She served as a pinch runner in Wednesday’s win, and she provided a key boost.

“Jordy has wheels,” teammate Kinzie Hansen said. “She runs circles around us at practice sometimes. She strikes us out, too. It’s all over the place.”

Those wheels came in handy, as Bahl scored the first run for Oklahoma in what had been a scoreless game through three innings.

“I think base running is really fun,” Bahl said with a smile on Wednesday. “So when I went out there, I was thinking just be fast but be smart.

“Get a good jump. If the ball is in the dirt, you’re going, but get a good jump.”

The Sooners added two more runs in the fourth inning after Bahl got the team on the scoreboard, then one each in the fifth and the sixth.

“From that point on, everything just started,” Gasso said. “We started finding some gaps, get a little more confidence in what we’re doing.”

The Sooners will look to clinch the series – and a third straight WCWS title – on Thursday night.

The Oklahoma softball team isn’t going to apologize for the energy they bring to the field.

On Tuesday, head coach Patty Gasso said that she tells her players to be “unapologetic” in the way they play the game, which includes celebrating walks.

“Because women have worked so hard to get here yet still get judged for those things,” Gasso said. “That’s the way we play, and that’s what people enjoy. Or you don’t. You either like it or you don’t, but we’re not going to apologize for these players knowing the game and celebrating the right way.”

The No. 1-ranked team in the country is riding an NCAA-record 51-game winning streak into the Women’s College World Series championship series beginning Wednesday against No. 3 Florida State, giving them plenty of reasons to celebrate.

The Sooners ran up against a tough test in the semifinals against star pitcher NiJaree Canady and Stanford, pulling out a win in extra innings on Monday while animatedly celebrating their victories, both big and small.

“We can’t satisfy anyone, and that’s not why we play this game,” said Oklahoma’s Alyssa Brito. “That’s not why we’re here doing what we’re doing is to satisfy anyone. So I think for me, I’m going to stay being who I am and stay true to who I am. And if that passion that I have offends anyone, it’s just kind of like, ‘OK, I’m not going to allow anyone to kind of change my game.'”

The players have noticed fans publicly criticizing their behavior, but center fielder Jayda Coleman said Tuesday that she’s stayed off social media during the tournament “because that would fire me up and maybe just want to do it even more.”

Coleman, tied for the team lead in home runs with 17, was named a First Team All-American this season. She noted that a double standard exists between celebrations in men’s and women’s sports — a debate that also came to the forefront after the women’s NCAA basketball championship game in April.

“I really don’t get it,” Coleman said. “I feel like we are continuously — and softball itself — are just breaking barriers. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and I feel like it’s just very disappointing to just see people just trying to tear us down in that type of way.

“Maybe not tearing us down, but just kind of making it into a negative light when you’re seeing the MLB players do the exact same thing or the NBA or NFL, throwing their helmets and having emotion. Like, why can’t we have emotion? We are in the same stakes as them. We are athletes just like them. Why can we not wear our emotions on their sleeves?”

Sooners shortstop Grace Lyons added on Tuesday that the team’s celebrations have little to do with their opponents.

“What we do is to bring passion to our own circle, and it’s never against anyone else,” she said. “So, I just want to say that that’s not how we play. People may take it that way, but it’s all for our own joy and passion, never to tear down.”

Oklahoma is looking to win its third straight NCAA softball championship this week, with Game 1 against Florida State kicking off at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Oklahoma softball isn’t taking its Women’s College World Series run for granted.

The Sooners (59-1) won their 51st consecutive game Monday, beating Stanford 4-2 in the WCWS semifinals. The extra-innings win came against a Cardinal team that features pitcher NiJaree Canady, who proved tough for the Oklahoma batters to crack.

Yet like much about Oklahoma softball, the win seemed inevitable. So did the result: The Sooners reached their fourth consecutive WCWS championship series, where they’ll vie for their third consecutive title. They’ll face Florida State, the team they beat in 2021 to start their run of championships. They also beat the Seminoles earlier this season.

For Oklahoma, though, what matters is not what has come before but what comes next. Take star player Tiare Jennings, who hit the game-winning two-run double against Stanford — but only after the Cardinal intentionally walked Jayda Coleman to get to her.

“It didn’t really matter to me,” Jennings said. “Either way, I was going to have to find a way to either get on or help my team the best way I can. We talked about not being results-oriented, and that’s what happened today. I didn’t get results I wanted earlier in the game, but I was going to keep swinging.”

Jennings brought in two runs and tied former Oklahoma star slugger Jocelyn Alo for the WCWS career RBI record.

Oklahoma pitcher Jordy Bahl has been lights out in the WCWS, not allowing a run in 14 ⅔ innings. For Bahl, the game plan boils down to this: “Be present, stay simple.”

“The second I try to do too much with any one of my pitches, I start overthrowing and things tend to go downhill,” she said.

And as Oklahoma looks to win another title and firmly cement their status as a dynasty, they’re enjoying the moment.

“We win a lot. And that’s fabulous,” Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said. “But sometimes we’re so used to taking it for granted. This means a lot. This means a lot to get to the championship game.”

Oklahoma softball kept its record 51-game winning streak alive, outlasting Stanford in extra innings Monday to reach the Women’s College World Series finals.

Stanford entered the eight-team WCWS in Oklahoma City as the second-lowest seed. The Cardinal were seeded No. 9 overall in the 64-team postseason field but advanced to the WCWS semifinals with wins against No. 5 Alabama and No. 7 Washington.

Stanford’s tournament run set up a rematch with Oklahoma. The Sooners notched a 2-0 win against the Cardinal in the first game of the double-elimination WCWS last Thursday. The Cardinal needed two wins Monday against the Sooners to advance, while the Sooners just needed one win to eliminate the Cardinal.

Led by pitcher NiJaree Canady, Stanford pushed Oklahoma to the brink in the opening game of the semifinals, but Oklahoma won 4-2 in nine innings to advance to the championship series for the fourth consecutive year.

Kylie Chung’s two-run blast in the first inning gave Stanford an early 2-0 lead. Oklahoma clawed its way back, with a solo home run from Jayda Coleman tying the game in the third inning, but Canady held the Sooners’ bats in check. The Cardinal freshman, who pitched a one-hitter Sunday against Washington to help Stanford advance to the semifinals, held her own against a formidable Oklahoma lineup.

The game went to extra innings tied 2-2. After Stanford stranded two runners in the bottom of the eighth, Oklahoma went ahead in the top of the ninth off a two-run double from Tiare Jennings. Sooners pitcher Jordy Bahl then closed out the win in the bottom of the inning.

Oklahoma is seeking its third straight WCWS title. The Sooners also won in 2021 and 2022. The only team in NCAA softball history to claim three titles in a row is UCLA, which won in 1988, 1989 and 1990.