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OU softball: Sooners set program home run record at 108

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Oklahoma's Caleigh Clifton celebrates hitting a home run during Saturday's super regional game against Northwestern in Norman. Clifton's homer contributed to the Sooners' single-season school record of 108.  [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]
Oklahoma's Caleigh Clifton celebrates hitting a home run during Saturday's super regional game against Northwestern in Norman. Clifton's homer contributed to the Sooners' single-season school record of 108. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

NORMAN — Patty Gasso looked surprised again. She hardly had time to check the final box score when, at her postgame press conference, she was told her Sooners had broken another school record.

Oklahoma hit five home runs Saturday, bringing its season total to 108. No OU lineup has ever been more powerful. This year’s squad passed the 107 home runs hit by the likes of Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby and Nicole Pendley in 2015.

That power, conveniently combined with dominant pitching, has Oklahoma back in the Women’s College World Series for the eighth time in the last nine years. After facing elimination in the regional round, OU outscored Northwestern 11-0 in two super regional games.

While the win was enough to warrant celebration, Gasso admitted the home run record was a nice extra touch. She and the Sooners have regularly shied away from discussing such achievements this season.

“It was enjoyable,” Gasso said. “It’s tough when you get into these positions. Some of the toughest games we’ve ever been a part of have been in super regionals because there’s so much at stake. I think everyone kind of exhales when you get to the World Series, like, ‘We made it. Let’s just go play now.’ But to see them do it on this stage when so much is at stake, it’s just a testament to their season.”

The 108th home run was hit by sophomore catcher Lynnsie Elam, who entered the weekend with the fewest home runs (4) of any OU starter. The four other blasts were hit by the biggest bats in the lineup — Sydney Romero, Caleigh Clifton, Grace Green and Jocelyn Alo.

Romero leads the Sooners with 19 home runs, followed by Clifton (17), Green (16) and Alo (15). Romero’s previous season high was 12. Clifton had never reached double-digits.

“I’m leaving here with no regrets,” Romero said, “so that’s one of the best things I could have asked for.”

Oklahoma leads the nation in home runs. Arizona, Florida State and James Madison are the others to have crossed the century mark. Only Arizona will join the Sooners in the Women’s College World Series.

“I think it was a good little spark going into OKC,” Clifton said. “The last few games we haven’t been scoring as much, but I think that’s just showing how good the pitching staffs have been. Those pitching staffs helped us, and they’re going to help us as we continue to go to OKC.”

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WOMEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES

Oklahoma vs. Alabama

When: 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: USA Hall of Fame Stadium.

TV: ESPN2 (Cox 28)

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Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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