OKLAHOMA CITY — Giselle Juarez re-emerged as the star pitcher Oklahoma needed to complement its high-powered offense, and now the Sooners are national champions again.
Juarez threw her second consecutive complete game, and Oklahoma beat Florida State 5-1 on Thursday for its fifth Women's College World Series title.
The Sooners lacked a dominant pitcher heading into the series but Juarez answered the call, allowing one run on two hits in the decisive Game 3.
Oklahoma won Game 2 6-2 behind Juarez, who went 5-0 at the World Series. The left-hander allowed four runs in 31⅓ innings.
Juarez, a super senior, was a first-team NFCA All-American in 2019 but had surgery on her left arm last year and struggled to regain her form.
“The beginning of the season wasn’t great for me, but I just kept grinding and trusting God’s plan for myself. He had this moment planned for me,” Juarez said.
Much of the crowd stood when Juarez took the circle in the seventh inning. Fittingly, the final out was a popup into her glove.
“Honestly, I was kind of hoping it didn’t go in the sun and that they would let me catch it," she said. “But I mean, it felt so slow motion, and then just to look up after I caught it and see (Kinzie) Hansen running at me — surreal, awesome moment."
Oklahoma (56-4) also won titles in 2000, 2013, 2016 and 2017, all under coach Patty Gasso. The Sooners set the Division I record with 161 home runs this season.
Jocelyn Alo hit four homers in the World Series, including the go-ahead blast in Game 2. Her homer in Game 3 was her 34th of the season.
“We knew that we wanted to set the tone pretty early," Gasso said. “Jocelyn Alo is made differently. Made differently. When she puts her mind to something, she gets it done, whatever it is."