Written By: Natalie Hansen

A Championship Season

In gaining their 6th National Championship title, the 2022 Oklahoma Sooners put up historic numbers, ultimately coming out on the top of Division I softball. They closed out a 59 win season with a .950 win percentage, only facing three losses to other Women’s College World Series semi-finalist teams. Breaking the WCWS records for homeruns (17) and runs (64), the 2022 Sooners outscored opponents 64 to 17 in Oklahoma City. With star sluggers Jocelyn Alo and Tiare Jennings, ace pitchers like Jordy Bahl and Hope Trautwein, and a top to bottom elite defense, fans and analysts alike question whether the 2022 OU softball is the best to ever do it. Let’s take a look at some of the mind-boggling statistics from the Oklahoma’s 2022 softball season to see just how good the Sooner squad was this year.

Knocking the Ball Around

The hallmark of the 2022 OU squad was their offensive ability to generate hits and runs. Boasting 575 hits over 62 games, the Sooners averaged 9.27 hits/game and a .371 team batting average. The table below shows OU’s team hitting statistics for the number of times through the order.

The first time through the order, the Sooners posted, on average, a .359/.463/.694 over 695 PA. With every time through the order, the Sooners just got better and better, demonstrating their ability to share information between hitters and attack the opposing pitching staffs. By the fourth time through the order, the OU hitters averaged a .418/.533/1.000 slash over 184 PA. The ability to adjust and generate hits can also be seen in the 5 players who boasted individual batting averages over .400 (Alo, Coleman, Boone, Jennings, Lyons). OU opponents? They only hit .144 against Oklahoma.

The OU hitters’ pure dominance can also be shown through their standings in advanced hitting statistics, highlighted in orange. The table below ranks the Top 10 hitters in the 2022 season according to their Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+), which is a comprehensive hitting stat that adjusts for sport and run environment. (League average is normalized to 100). 

Oklahoma landed two sluggers within the top 10 in the nation for this category. Atop the chart, Jocelyn Alo posted a 308 wRC+, meaning that she was 208% better than the average Division 1 softball hitter for the 2022 season. The next highest wRC+ came from Arizona State’s Cydney Sanders at 250, nearly 60% less, demonstrating just how dominant Jocelyn Alo was in run creation. Amidst the top 10 was also OU’s Tiare Jennings, who’s wRC+ put her at 138% better than the average Division 1 softball hitter.

Narrowing the field to just the teams who played in the 2022 WCWS above, we can see that the Sooners fill 4 of the top 10 spots on the leaderboard. In addition to the wRC+, the OU players post elite numbers for weighted on-base average (wOBA), weighted runs above average (wRAA), strikeout to walks (K-BB%), and isolated power (ISO).

One way that the Sooners generated so many runs and proved dominant at the plate was through their impressive ability to hit the long ball. Nearly 10% of all OU at bats during the 2022 resulted in a home run, and home runs accounted for 26.8% of all runs that they scored in 2022. Six Sooners blasted double digit home runs (Alo, Jennings, Lyons, Brito, Elam, Johns). With a team of hitters as effective as OU, it is no surprise that they were able to generate as many runs as they did in the pursuit for the 2022 National Championship Title.

Run-Rules Galore

To add to an already impressive season, the Sooners were able to effectively end games quicker than any other team. Their ability to generate runs at the plate while limiting their opposition created absurd ratios. At the bare bones, every game is a series of independent plays that occur through various events (i.e., at-bats, baserunning plays, etc.). One way that we can track just how quickly OU was able to generate runs and win is through calculating the average number of plays that it took them to reach 99% or better win probability. At that point, barring a miraculous comeback from a team against the best pitching staff in D1 softball, they have effectively secured the win. The table below shows the top 10 teams in terms of the average number of plays needed to secure a win.

It’s no surprise that Oklahoma sits at number one on the list. They needed only 33 plays/game on average to secure a 99% win probability. Better yet, OU has 19 more wins than the next lowest average and 10 more wins than any other team that made the top 10 list. Of the teams in the top 10, only two teams made the WCWS in 2022: Oklahoma and Arizona. The average number of plays to secure each win demonstrates how Oklahoma was able to get on the board early and often across their 59 win season.

In order to close out games so quickly, Oklahoma had to create and maintain leads throughout their games, ultimately leading to 40 run rule wins on the season. One way that we can analyze these leads is by taking a look at the percent of plays that occurred at certain score margins or “game statuses.” In the tables below, game status is broken into 1-4 run lead, 5-7 run lead, 8+ run lead, tied and trailing. The top left table with the green highlighting shows the percent of plays that Oklahoma played in each of these game statuses. The Sooners only trailed in 5.3% of plays and played a whopping 21.6% of plays with an 8+ run lead. This means that the Sooners were ahead 1 or more runs 75.8% of the time this season. We can compare the other semi-finalist teams from the 2022 WCWS and see that Oklahoma state was ahead 1 or more runs 51.9% of the time, Texas 46.4%, and UCLA 65.5%. The percentages for each games status and team are listed in the tables below.


Along with the impressive amount of time OU spent with a lead, their 5.3% of plays spent trailing is less than half of the next closest semi-finalist UCLA. The amount of time spent with a lead and lack of time spent trailing demonstrates how the 2022 Sooners scored early and did not let up on the throttle.

Over the course of the season, they averaged 9.33 runs/game and their ability to maintain steep score margins resulted in numerous run rule wins on the season. The table below shows the top 10 teams for the 2022 in terms of the number of run rule wins.

Oklahoma again dominates this category, spawning an astonishing 40 run rule win season. We can see that 40 run rules is double the next highest total of run rule wins. In addition, we can also see how this stacks up against other teams from the last 5 years.

Oklahoma occupies 4 of the top 6 spots on the leaderboard, yielding 125 run rule victories over the past 5 seasons (including 4 from the shortened 2020 season). None of the other teams listed in the top 10 even appear twice. In true OU fashion, the Sooners ripped through the NCAA tournament, clinching 5 run rule games out of their 9 non-championship series games.

The Alo Effect

A central pillar for the Oklahoma Sooners over the past five seasons was 2x USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and Home Run Queen Jocelyn Alo. During her time in Norman, Alo blasted 122 career home runs, outnumbering previous OU Sooner Lauren Chamberlain’s record (95 home runs).

Jocelyn Alo’s ability to attack various pitches in various counts allowed her to attack all parts of the field across her 5 years with the Sooners, as shown below. Her batted ball profile throughout her career was remarkably diverse.

Her 2022 statistics out-performed the rest of Division 1 softball hitters in numerous categories. In the figure below, we can see Alo’s BA, OBP, SLG, and BABIP compared to the rest of the OU team, the Big 12, and all of Division 1 softball. Alo out-performs the average player in all of these categories, with a ridiculous .515/.646/1.212 slash.

Alo’s demeanor at the plate and her pitch selection are demonstrated below. She swings less than average at the first pitch (1P SW) and takes more first strikes (Take 1K) than the average Division 1 softball player, but when she does swing, she misses far less (S/M) than the average Oklahoma, Big 12 or Division 1 softball player.

In analyzing the balls that Alo did put in play, she hit far more fly balls and line drives than the average softball player and far less ground balls, infield fly balls, and pop-ups. This demonstrates Alo’s pure talent as a hitter and particularly elite barrel control to maintain optimal launch angles on her batted balls.

Alo hit 34 of her 122 career home runs during the 2022 season. Home runs accounted for 20.5% of all her at bats on the season, roughly 1 out of every 5 at bats. Accounting for the distance around the bases, Alo had to run nearly 1.5 miles of home run trot this season and upwards of 5.5 miles throughout her time as a Sooner. Over the course of her college career, Alo has spent more than 30 minutes just trotting around the bases after hitting a home run.

Jocelyn Alo completed her final WCWS in true home run queen fashion when she hit a home run in 5 of her 18 at bats. Four of these home runs came from two games, making Alo the first ever player to have multiple, multi-home run games in WCWS history.

Alo was so dominant that when comparing her wRC+ to Barry Bonds’ 2002 season (the best season by wRC+ in major league history), Alo was better by a wide margin. She was at 303 on June 8th, but finished the season even better at 308!

Back to Back

As if one super slugger was not enough for the 2022 Sooners, hitting the majority of season in the 3 hole behind Alo was sophomore Tiare Jennings. The figure below shows how Jennings stacked up against other 2022 Division 1 softball players, out performing the average in BA, OBP, and SLG with a .401/.507/.940 slash. Like Alo, Jennings swings less at the first pitch and takes more first pitch strikes than the average Division 1 player while swinging and missing less.

Tiare Jennings did her own home run damage this season, launching 29 long balls, equivalent to 1.3 miles of home run trotting. Hitting back to back with Alo, Jennings says that “[Alo] inspires me and fires me up.” In a historic Game 1 of the 2022 Championship Series against Texas and hitting back to back, Alo and Jennings lived up to their line-up order. They launched back to back home runs to put the Sooners up 14-1 on the Longhorns.

In addition to Alo and Jennings’ ability to produce home runs, they also posted some impressive averages in what we typically consider as pitchers’ counts. In 0-1 and 0-2 counts, both Alo and Jennings posted a BA above .310, OBP above .333, and SLG above .643.

Up and Down the Lineup Card

Alo and Jennings were not the only pieces to OU’s 2022 championship puzzle. Up and down the Sooner’s line-up card brought 5 first team All-Americans, the most from any given team this season:

  • Jocelyn Alo (DP)
  • Jordy Bahl (P)
  • Jayda Coleman (OF)
  • Tiare Jennings (2B)
  • Grace Lyons (SS)

In addition to their 5 All-Americans, the 2022 team was solid up and down the order. In Game 2 of the Championship Series against Texas, Grace Lyons and Kinzie Hansen each had 3 RBI, and Tiare Jennings, Alyssa Brito, and Taylon Snow collected one RBI a piece. Down 1-2 in the top of the 4th, Taylon Snow’s RBI single tied the game up and started a Sooner rally.

The next inning up and 3-2, Kinzie Hansen’s 3 run home run increased the OU lead 6-2, firing up the Sooners. The Sooner line-up this season was full of dynamic softball players who arguably would be stars on any other team. In addition to OU’s excellence at the plate, they also boasted one of the most robust defenses in Division 1 softball this season.

Outside the Batter’s Box

Outside the batter’s box, Oklahoma softball had one of the best defenses and pitching staffs of the 2022 season. The table below ranks the 2022 Division 1 softball teams in terms of defensive efficiency. Defensive Efficiency is the percentage of balls in play that are converted into outs. In addition to being at the top of so many offensive statistical categories, the OU Sooners’ defensive efficiency for the 2022 was .758.

On the mound the Sooners were led by pitchers Nicole May, Hope Trautwein, and National Freshman Player of the Year Jordy Bahl. The three combined for 1.05 ERA with 461 strikeouts.

Among the regular season, freshman pitcher Jordy Bahl dominated for the Sooners, using her diverse pitching arsenal to get hitters to swing at pitches both up and down in the zone. The figure below shows how Bahl stacked up against other Division 1 pitchers in her ability to throw first pitch strikes (1P K) and generate swings and misses (S/M).

After a late conference season injury of ace Jordy Bahl, senior transfer Hope Trautwein handled a majority of the post-season innings for the Sooners. Trautwein’s ability to get hitters to pop up with her rise ball led to high numbers of fly balls, infield fly balls, and pop ups. The figure below shows how Trautwein compares to other pitchers for these categories.

Trautwein’s pitching arsenal allowed for the Sooner defense to convert fly balls into outs in the post season. While the Sooner’s ability to generate runs allowed for them to outscore their opponents, their commitment to defense and elite pitching only allowed 65 runs in 62 games of the 2022 season. On average, OU allowed only .95 runs against/game, and 49 of their 62 games they held opponents to 1 run or less.

In a post game press conference, head coach Patty Gasso emphasized the mantra of “defense wins championships,” and in the Championship Series, the Sooners showed exactly what she meant. After Texas jumped on the board first, center fielder Jayda Coleman robbed a would-be home run off the bat of Courtney Day, shutting down the early game rally by Texas in the bottom of the 1st.

Later in the game, left fielder Alyssa Brito took away a single from Texas’ Mia Scott, sending the Sooners back up to bat for the top of the 6th.

While the 2022 Sooner’s elite offense allowed them to generate runs, their impeccable defense (.977 team FLD%) and crafty pitching shut down opposing teams’ offensive efforts.

The Best Ever?

With all the broken records, accolades, and a National Championship Title to round out the season, one could argue that the 2022 Oklahoma Softball team is the best to ever do it. While it’s hard to compare different teams across different eras, the increased availability of softball data makes it easier than ever before. Regardless of their status as the “best team ever,” the 2022 Oklahoma Sooners showed just how crazy good they were this season. While the 2023 squad will lose out on key players Jocelyn Alo, Lynnsie Elam, Jana Johns, Taylon Snow, and Hope Trautwein, the returning OU Sooners will be accompanied by a dynamic incoming class and players from the transfer portal.  On June 17th, 2021 Big Ten Pitcher of the year and graduate transfer Alex Storako announced her commitment to Oklahoma to compete as a Sooner for the 2023 season.

While it’s impossible to truly replace the outgoing Sooners, OU returns their entire outfield, pitcher Jordy Bahl, slugger and likely player-of-the-year-favorite Tiare Jennings, among several others. Combined with their incoming talent, we can expect that the 2023 Sooners will have no troubles continuing their legacy of success given the winning culture established in Norman.