Just a few days after winning their second consecutive softball national championship, the Oklahoma Sooners gained the commitment of Michigan transfer and former Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Alex Storako on Monday.
The Sooners swept rival Texas in the Women’s College World Series final on Thursday in Oklahoma City, winning both games by a combined score of 26-6.
Oklahoma, which was ranked No. 1 all season and finished with a record of 59-3, led the county in ERA (1.05), batting average (.371) and home runs (155), placing it in the conversation for the best teams of all-time.
A senior with one year of eligibility remaining, Storako ranked sixth in strikeouts last season with 300. In four seasons with the Wolverines, she posted a career ERA of 1.71.
Storako, who won Big Ten Pitcher of the Year honors as a junior, will join an already stacked starting rotation that features star freshman and co-Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Jordy Bahl, along with sophomore Nicole May, who went 15.1 with a 1.30 ERA as last season.
Bahl, who went 22-1 with a 1.09 ERA last season, injured her forearm during the final series of the regular season and was limited for much of the postseason.
Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso estimated that Bahl was playing at 60% when she appeared during the WCWS this month, starting the deciding game against Texas in which she gave up two earned runs in four innings.
The addition of Storako mirrors that of former Conference USA Pitcher of the Year and North Texas product Hope Trautwein from a year ago.
Trautwein transferred to Oklahoma for her final offseason last June and immediately became the team’s No. 2 starting pitcher, posting a 22-1 record and a 0.77 ERA.
A favorite to begin next season as the preseason No. 1-ranked team, the Sooners’ quest to repeat as national champions will have to be done without star hitter and fifth-year senior Jocelyn Alo.
The all-time leader in career home runs, Alo hit .515 last season with 34 home runs and 85 RBI.
However, Oklahoma does return five of its top six hitters from last season, including standout sophomore Tiare Jennings, who led the team with 87 RBI.
Oklahoma has won six national championships under Gasso, including four of the last six WCWS.