Oklahoma softball will enter the NCAA tournament on a 39-game win streak. Let's take a look at where that ranks in NCAA softball history.
The Wildcats own the longest streak in NCAA softball history, and Oklahoma would still have to stay perfect for a while to break it. Arizona won 47 games in a row from April 5, 1996 to March 23, 1997. The team took home the championship in both seasons, and finished with a combined 119-16 record in those two seasons.
Oklahoma's win streak ended at 41 games after the Sooners lost to Wisconsin in their third NCAA tournament game. OU was creeping up on Arizona's all-time streak of 47 but fell six short. Oklahoma's finished conference play with a pristine 18-0 record. The Sooners' 41 consecutive wins this season is the longest win streak in the span of a single season.
RECAP | "They just impress me beyond belief." - head coach Patty Gasso. #Sooners finish their second straight undefeated conference slate with a pair of Bedlam wins: https://t.co/E0qttaVQXp #ChampionshipMindset pic.twitter.com/p40ErfQrGj— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 5, 2019
South Carolina, 1997
The Gamecocks went 38 games without a loss or tie right around the same time Arizona was on its own streak. South Carolina went 63-5 that season. After securing its first SEC regular season and tournament championships, the Gamecocks advanced to their first ever Women's College World Series, where they bowed out after losing to Washington and Michigan.
Florida's 37-game win streak from March 12 to May 18 helped the team make its first Women's College World Series. The Gators went 70-5 overall and 27-1 in SEC play. In a show of just how much talent this group had, Stacey Nelson, Kim Waleszonia, Aja Paculba, Francesca Enea, and Ali Gardiner all made the All-America team.
The Tigers notched what was then an NCAA record with 37 wins in a row from March 20 to April 28 before losing 3-1 to Brown. Of course, Princeton wouldn't hold onto this record for long. But only a few teams have passed them in the 20-plus years since. The 1996 team also finished the year ranked No. 1 in the Northeast Region for the second straight year. Before that, the Tigers had been the top ranked team only once before in 1985.
The most recent team on the list got here with a 35-game win streak that lasted from February 9 to April 4. The Ducks tied an NCAA record because their win streak came in the first 35 games of the season. They didn't register a loss on the year until April 7, when UCLA handed Oregon the first of back-to-back losses. The Ducks finished 54-8 on the season.
UCLA's 35-game win streak is one of only a few on this list to come in a championship-winning season. The Bruins broke school records for wins, runs, total bases, home runs, RBIs, doubles, hits, walks and steals. They ended the season with a 63-6 record.
Under coach Mike Rappl, Canisius ripped off a then-NCAA record 35-game win streak that put both the coach and the team on the map. The team went 36-3 that season. The Golden Griffins also had their win streak come in the first 35 games of the season. After losing game two of a doubleheader against UMass on May 8, the team went 1-2 the rest of the way.
Cal State Fullerton, 1987
Cal State Fullerton was the first team in NCAA softball history to get to 35 consecutive wins. The Titans were no strangers to the spotlight by then, having won a national championship in 1986. They'd get there again in 1987 after going undefeated from March 6 to April 21.
SOFTBALL CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS: Brackets, automatic qualifiers
Another recent winner, the Gators had a 34-game winning streak. They didn't match their 37-game win streak from 2008, but this Florida team outdid its predecessor where it counts: these Gators took home the national championship with a win over Michigan in the Women's College World Series final.
Arizona's own 34-game win streak was bookended by losses to Washington. The Wildcats went on to rip off a 13-game winning streak before losing in the opening round of the Women's College World Series. It was only the second time since 1990 that the Wildcats didn't make the national title game.