The Green family has a special flair for sending seasons of their sporting lives out with fireworks. Ten-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo team roper Daniel Green called it a Cinch Timed Event Championship career this spring when the three-time TEC champ announced his retirement at event’s end after a quarter century of memorable showings. On Thursday night, Daniel and Shawnda’s daughter Grace Green capped her senior year as a standout on the Oklahoma Sooners softball squad with a second-straight NCAA title at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
The Lady Sooners have been a dominant force in recent years, including World Series wins in the past four of seven seasons (COVID shut down the 2020 postseason). Under the direction of Head Coach Patty Gasso, this dream team—which is being talked about by media outlets the likes of ESPN as quite possibly the best softball team of all time—took it to Texas in a Series sweep, 16-1 on opening night Wednesday, then 10-5 Thursday evening.
“As a parent, you’re proud of who your kids are and not just what they get done,” said Daniel, who roped at 10 straight NFRs from 1994-2003 with brother Chris, Allen Bach and Kory Koontz. “You’re happy to see their success, but in our family we try not to let our performance in the arena we compete in define who we are as people. I’m more happy than anything else about who Grace is as a person.”
Daniel will walk his and Shawnda’s first-born down the aisle next month, when OU Softball’s #21 Grace—who’s been a wildly talented and versatile utility player with a big bat—marries OU football player Bryan Mead in Oklahoma. Mead played linebacker and on special teams, and played in 65 games, which is a school record.
Grace, who’s 22 now, is studying to be a speech pathologist. It’s a pursuit that will take four more years of school, but she’s not one to back down from a challenge. Sister Kyndall is 20 now, and little brother Eli, 16, will compete in tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping at the California High School Finals Rodeo next week in Bishop.
Grace got to play in the 2019, 2021 and 2022 Women’s College World Series, and the Lady Sooners finished second, first and first, respectively. COVID kept the 2020 postseason from playing out, but does not diminish this powerhouse team.
“It’s kind of crazy how good they are,” Daniel said. “Those girls work so hard that it’s easy to be happy for them. What a ride it’s been for all of us.”