OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma earned its first-ever softball national championship by beating UCLA, 3-1, in front of a Women's College World Series record crowd of 8,049 at Don E. Porter Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City on May 29, 2000.
The title was the first by a women's athletic program at Oklahoma. The Sooners finished the season with the best record in the country at 66-8.
Oklahoma, the third seed in the WCWS, got on the scoreboard in the third inning with a two-run home run from All-American first baseman Lisa Carey. It was the second homer in as many days for the junior as her solo shot versus Arizona in the semifinals lifted the Sooners to the title game.
Center fielder Erin Evans, who knocked a single to left field for her second hit of the game, scored ahead of Carey. The shot was Carey's 20th of the year and tied the OU single-season record which was set in 1999 by Lynette Velazquez.
The inning continued when right fielder Andrea Davis singled to right field. Pinch runner Jaime White advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior All-American Ashli Barrett. Designated player Mandy Fulton followed Barrett's bunt with one of her own, placing runners on second and third with two outs. Freshman shortstop Kelli Braitsch then nailed a single to left field, driving in White for the 3-0 lead.
The Bruins tightened the game with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning. Freshman Natasha Watley reached on an infield single and then moved to third on a Julie Adams single to right-center field. Watley scored on a sacrifice fly by UCLA catcher Julie Marshall, but OU pitcher Jennifer Stewart promptly recorded her only strikeout of the game on the next batter to end the inning.
Stewart earned the World Series Most Outstanding Player award, earning victories in all four of OU's WCWS wins. Carey and Braitsch joined Stewart on the all-tournament team.
OU became just the second non-West Coast team to win a softball national championship.
2000 Women's College World Series All-Tournament Team
Courtney Blades, p, Southern Miss.
Kelli Braitsch, ss, Oklahoma
Lisa Carey, 1b, Oklahoma
Jaime Clark, of, Washington
Shavaughne Desecki, of, DePaul
Amanda Freed, p, UCLA
Erin Johnson, 3b, Southern Miss
Kelly Kretschman, of, Alabama
Julie Marshall, c, UCLA
Toni Mascarenas, 3b, Arizona
Tairia Mims, 1b, UCLA
Most Oustanding Player: Jennifer Stewart, p, Oklahoma
| 2000 National Championship Notes
|The OU coaching staff was named the Speedline/NFCA Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year.
|Oklahoma's 3-1 win over UCLA for the national title was carried live by ESPN.
|Kelli Braitsch, Lisa Carey and Jennifer Stewart were named to the WCWS All-Tournament team.
|Left-handed pitcher Jennifer Stewart was named the WCWS Most Outstanding Player after limiting UCLA to one run on eight hits in the 2000 title game.
|OU President David Boren and Oklahoma fans honored the 2000 national championship team at halftime of the OU-Rice football game in the fall.
|Oklahoma's 66 wins in the 2000 season were the most in the program's history.
|The Sooners' softball championship was the first national title won by a women's athletic team in the history of the University of Oklahoma.