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The Women’s College World Series (WCWS) is the culmination of a season-long journey for college softball teams across the United States. For years now, Oklahoma has been at the forefront of the sport, dominating opponents and securing national championships. With the 2023 WCWS on the horizon, many fans are beginning to wonder: is Oklahoma softball’s dominance inevitable?
The Oklahoma Sooners softball team is no stranger to success. Under the tutelage of coach Patty Gasso, the Sooners have won four national championships since 2000 and have been regular fixtures in the WCWS. The team has been so dominant, in fact, that they’ve been able to build their own softball-specific stadium, the Marita Hynes Field, in Norman, Oklahoma.
But despite their success, the Sooners are not invincible. In the 2021 WCWS, they lost their opening game to James Madison University, who ultimately advanced to the semifinals. The 2021 tournament also saw teams like Florida State, Alabama, and Oklahoma State put up strong showings.
Looking ahead to the 2023 WCWS, it’s difficult to say for sure whether Oklahoma’s dominance will continue. The sport of softball is inherently unpredictable – one hit can change the course of a game, and one game can change the course of a season. However, there are a few factors that suggest the Sooners could be poised for another championship run.
Firstly, the Sooners have a strong team coming back for the 2022-2023 season. The entire starting infield from the 2021 season will be returning, as will pitcher Giselle Juarez, who was dominant in the circle for the Sooners last year. Additionally, Oklahoma has a strong recruiting class coming in, headlined by Jayda Coleman, the number one overall recruit in the country.
Another factor in Oklahoma’s potential success is their coaching staff. Patty Gasso is one of the most successful coaches in the history of college softball, and her assistants – including former Olympian Jennifer Rocha – are among the best in the business. The Sooners have a strong culture of winning, and that starts at the top.
Of course, there are other teams in the mix as well. James Madison proved last year that they can compete with anyone, and UCLA – another historically dominant program – is always a threat in the playoffs. Additionally, teams like Florida and Alabama have shown that they have the firepower to make deep runs in the tournament.
Ultimately, the 2023 WCWS will come down to which team can execute in the clutch. Softball, like any sport, is full of unpredictable moments that can swing a game in one direction or the other. However, it’s also a sport that rewards preparation and consistency. If Oklahoma can continue to play at the level they’ve shown in recent years, they’ll be in a good position to win another championship.
That being said, there’s no telling what could happen between now and 2023. Injuries, unexpected roster changes, and a variety of other factors could change the landscape of the sport. It’s impossible to predict the future with certainty, especially in a sport as volatile as softball.
In conclusion, while it’s certainly possible that Oklahoma will continue their dominance in the 2023 WCWS, it’s far from inevitable. The sport of softball is unpredictable, and any number of factors could swing the tournament in favor of another team. That being said, Oklahoma has a strong team, a skilled coaching staff, and a culture of winning – all of which suggest that they’ll be among the favorites in 2023. Only time will tell if they can claim another national championship.