Oklahoma softball’s 71-game winning streak snapped by UL Lafayette

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Oklahoma softball’s 71-game winning streak was snapped Sunday as the Sooners fell 7-5 in extra innings to UL Lafayette in Norman, Okla. Oklahoma hadn’t previously lost a game since Feb. 19, 2023.

After the score was tied up at four runs apiece following the seventh inning, Louisiana pulled ahead with a three-run top of the eighth thanks to RBI singles from Samantha Graeter and Sam Roe. The go-ahead run came on a bases-loaded single by Graeter that careened off the glove of Oklahoma shortstop Tiare Jennings.

While Oklahoma managed to get one run back with a Cydney Sanders home run in the bottom of the inning, Louisiana star pitcher Chloe Riassetto forced Jayda Coleman to fly out, ending the game and snapping the streak with Oklahoma’s Alynah Torres stranded at first.

Much has been said about coach Patty Gasso’s dynastic run at Oklahoma, and all of the accolades are well-deserved because it’s extremely difficult to stay atop any sport for so long. It’s near-impossible to do it without losing at all. So, there’s no shame in losing for these Sooners — in fact, it likely alleviates some of the pressure those players have felt nearly every day for more than a year to avoid a slip-up. It’s hard to chase history and to set the standard for an entire sport. Now, Oklahoma can go back to simply trying to win its fourth consecutive national title. No biggie.

Riassetto pitched all eight innings for Louisiana in a career performance, finishing with three strikeouts across 136 total pitches.

The highlight of the game for the Ragin’ Cajuns may have come in the bottom of the fourth inning, when left fielder Maddie Hayden made a spectacular leaping catch to take away an extra-base hit as the Sooners were looking to claw back into the game, having already scored two runs off a home run earlier in the inning.

The Sooners broke the NCAA record for consecutive wins in 2023 en route to their title last season. Oklahoma came back from a one-run deficit with back-to-back solo home runs from Cydney Sanders and Grace Lyons to beat Florida State 3-1 and sweep the best-of-three championship series.

Before Oklahoma, Arizona owned the longest winning streak in NCAA softball history, compiling 47 straight wins from 1996 to 1997. In recent years, Oklahoma put together a 41-game winning streak in 2019, a 40-game winning streak from 2020 to 2021 and another 40-game winning streak from 2021 to 2022.

With the loss, the No. 1 Sooners fall to 18-1 while Louisiana improves to 11-12.

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(Photo: Sarah Phipps / The Oklahoman / USA Today Network)

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