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Oklahoma is two wins away from becoming one of the greatest dynasties in the history of college softball.
The Sooners, already in the midst of the longest win streak in the history of the sport, can become just the second program in Division I softball to win three consecutive Women’s College World Series titles. They need only to beat 3-seed Florida State to join what has up until now been a one-team club.
Oklahoma claimed the 2021 title by overcoming a Game 1 loss vs. FSU to win in three games vs. the Seminoles. The 2022 WCWS finals was considerably more comfortable for the Sooners as they walloped rival Texas with scores of 16-1 and 10-5 to claim the repeat title.
Is it unfair to say anything less than a threepeat in 2023 is a failed season? Perhaps. But those expectations are a direct result of the dynasty Patty Gasso has built in Norman, Okla.
With that, The Sporting News breaks down the historic nature of what could be Oklahoma’s third straight title, as well as the championship history of the Women’s College World Series:
Has a team won three NCAA softball titles in a row?
Only one program in Division I college softball has won three straight Women’s College World Series titles: UCLA, from 1988 through 1990. The Bruins went a combined 163-18 in those three seasons under co-head coaches Sharron Backus and Sue Enquist (the latter of whom took on her role in 1989).
Backus and Enquist’s UCLA teams nearly won five straight WCWS titles, finishing as the national runner-up in 1991 to Arizona. The Bruins avenged their 1991 loss the next season, beating the same Wildcats squad to win the 1992 WCWS: their fourth title in five years.
Several programs have won repeat national titles, as well. They are:
- UCLA (1984-85, 2004-05)
- Arizona (1993-94, 1996-97, 2006-07)
- Florida (2014-15)
- Oklahoma (2016-17, 2021-22)
Which team has the most WCWS championships?
UCLA has the most Women’s College World Series titles: 13.
The Bruins’ most recent championship was in 2019, though their dominance was concentrated in the 1980s and ’90s, when they won nine WCWS titles. That includes two of the first three championships from 1982 through 1985, and four of five from 1988 through 1992.
Arizona is second nationally with eight Women’s College World Series titles, including an impressive five-year run that saw them win four championships in 1993-94 and 1996-97. Together, the Wildcats and Bruins combined to win 10 straight national championships from 1988 through 1997 (including WCWS finals matchups in 1991-93, 1995 and 1997).
Oklahoma is third nationally with six WCWS championships. The Sooners’ six titles — all of which have come under Gasso — rank most of any program not in the Pac-12.
Here’s a rundown of which programs have multiple WCWS titles, including where Oklahoma ranks among them:
|School||WCWS titles||Runner-up finishes|
* Includes vacated 1995 WCWS title
Women’s College World Series champions by year
Thirteen teams have combined to win every national championship since the inaugural tournament in 1982. Below is a breakdown of each Women’s College World Series champion since that season:
|2018||Florida State (58-12)|
|2011||Arizona State (60-6)|
|2008||Arizona State (66-5)|
|1998||Fresno State (52-11)|
|1987||Texas A&M (56-8)|
|1986||Cal State Fullerton (57-9-1)|
|1983||Texas A&M (41-11)|