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Jocelyn Alo Ties NCAA Career HR Record

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It’s not often that a player merely tying a program’s career home run record is national news. But it is when the program is Oklahoma. 

The Sooners are now home to college softball’s joint all-time home run champions, after Jocelyn Alo hit her 95th career home run in Sunday’s 8-0 victory against Texas State. The first-inning blast leaves Alo tied with former Sooners star Lauren Chamberlain atop the NCAA record book.

Alo reached the shared milestone in fittingly prodigious fashion, totaling five home runs during a weekend tournament in Houston. She entered the week tied with former UCLA legend Stacey Nuveman for fourth all-time, but surpassed not only Nuveman but Katiyana Mauga and Jessie Harper by hitting four home runs in games against Houston and McNeese State on Saturday. 

“She’s the best hitter I’ve ever seen,” Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said earlier this year.

While the reigning USA Softball Player of the Year is using the extra season of eligibility afforded NCAA athletes as a result of the pandemic-shortened 2020 spring sports season, her record will bear no asterisk, implied or otherwise. She reached 95 home runs in just 215 games. That’s five fewer games than Chamberlain, who hit her final two home runs in her final college game. 

Among others to reach 90 home runs, she’s played 24 fewer games than Mauga, 46 fewer than Harper and 49 fewer than Nuveman. 

In fact, Alo has played fewer games than everyone else in the all-time top 15. 

Her first chance to break Chamberlain’s record comes Friday, when Oklahoma opens its stay in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with games against Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State (Gasso’s alma mater). The Sooners also play Arizona, Tennessee and Utah in that event. 

Were Alo to emerge from the Mary Nutter still chasing sole possession of the record, Oklahoma then opens its home schedule against Minnesota on March 7. 

Chamberlain held the record for nearly seven years after surpassing Nuveman. Alo should be able to rest easy for a year, but the most likely immediate challenger is playing alongside her. Until this week, Sooners sophomore Tiare Jennings was actually ahead of Alo and Chamberlain’s pace. Jennings, who hit her 32nd career home run an inning after Alo tied the record, entered the weekend already 34th among active players.