OU softball: Alo gets curtain call in final game with Sooners

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Jun. 10—OKLAHOMA CITY — A career for the history books received a fitting send-off during the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday.

After starting out the game as in her usual spot the designated hitter, Jocelyn Alo was moved to left field with the Sooners three outs away from repeating as national champions. The first two pitches of the frame were popped up directly at the NCAA's all-time home run leader and she caught them to give Oklahoma its first two outs.

With Oklahoma holding a 10-2 lead in Game 2 of the Women's College World Series final, OU head coach Patty Gasso gave the redshirt senior an opportunity to enjoy her last moments in an Oklahoma uniform. Alo was pulled from the game and received a standing ovation from the 12,257 fans in attendance at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium — a Women's College World Series record.

"It's been a minute since I've been out on defense," Alo said about her curtain call. "So I was just enjoying it while I was out there. I don't think the moment could have been any better, and I just enjoyed my time with these girls, and I'm sad that it is ending, but I'm going to just enjoy it."

It's not often that players get an opportunity to be recognized the way that Alo was on Thursday night. A three-run home run by Mia Scott almost made Gasso regret that decision before Hope Trautwein was able to record the final out.

"(At) first I'm like: What a fool. I just blew it," Gasso said. "Here comes Texas coming back, and I'm trying to give Joce a hurrah, and I was like: I shouldn't have listened JT Gasso, who told me to do that."

The Sooners didn't let them get any closer.

Oklahoma held on to a 10-5 win over Texas and defend its national title from a season ago. Alo was named the WCWS' Most Outstanding Player.

Former teammate Giselle Juarez won the award last year, and Alo became the sixth Sooner to win the award and fifth since 2013.

The Hawaii native came away with her only hit of the game, a single in the top of the sixth inning, in her final at-bat with the program.

Alo went 12-for-18 at the plate during the tournament and broke the WCWS record for home runs hit with five. She'll finish her career with an NCAA-record 120 home runs and a career batting average of .442.

"I came into this game very stubborn and thought that it was all about me, and I came in as a girl, and now I'm leaving as a woman," Alo said. "I'm just happy to be having that mentality going out into the real world."

OU true freshman Jordy Bahl said Alo played a key role in her development this season.

"One of the biggest things that I've learned from her is to just really just leave it all out there," Bahl said. "You're never going to regret putting in the extra work when you don't want to. She's one of the hardest workers and for her, it's all paid off. Also, with all the spotlight she's gotten, she is still the most humble teammate ever. She's out there working for us, not for herself, but just to continue to be a selfless person, and she handles everything with grace."

Kinzie Hansen said she'll remember Alo as the teammate that helped her most when she arrived on campus.

"Everybody has that super senior that takes them under their wing, and mine was Joce," Hansen said. "To see her go, she's going to pass the baton down. It's just something that I have always had here, so I hope that, as my class gets older, that we make her proud and the super seniors that have taught us that being a good teammate is the most important thing."

Tarik Masri is a sports reporter for The Transcript covering OU athletics and area sports. You can reach him by emailing tarik@normantranscript.com