OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Oklahoma won their second consecutive NCAA Women’s Softball National Championship Tuesday with a 5-4 win over top-seeded Florida, giving the Sooners three titles in the past four seasons.
The 10th-seeded Sooners become the lowest seed to win the title, and a local pitching standout was a huge part of the reason why.
Former DC-G star Paige Lowary was in the ring at the end of Monday’s epic 7-5, 17-inning, 5-1/2 hour marathon win for OU, then capped her junior season by recording the last six outs in Tuesday’s title-clinching contest. Lowary’s stellar resume shows why rising to the occasion on the biggest stage should come as no surprise.
Lowary started Monday’s game and threw the first five innings. She returned with two outs in the bottom of the 12th and OU ahead by two runs, but was immediately tagged for a two-run double that forced the game to continue.
The left-hander — who spent her first two collegiate seasons starring for Missouri — settled down and kept the Gators from pulling out the win the rest of the way. In total Lowary threw 10-1/3 frames (139 pitches, 91 of which were strikes), yielding eight hits and two earned runs while walking one and striking out seven.
She was back on the rubber at OGE Energy Field Tuesday for two innings of relief — which included three strikeouts — as the Boomer Sooner thrilled a partisan home crowd with the title.
The daughter of Kevin and Shelly Lowary, she has one older brother, Craig, and a younger sister, Rachel.