Just In: “How Coach Patty Gasso and the OU softball team responded to reaching the Big 12 Championship.”…Read more.

In Oklahoma City, the Sooners have secured a spot in the Big 12 Championship game, dominating Kansas in the quarterfinals and BYU in the semifinals. Despite facing significant challenges this season, the OU softball team has excelled in the Big 12 Tournament. Following their advancement, Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso, pitcher Kierston Deal, and designated player Ella Parker shared their reactions with the media.

We’re always going to find a way to get something to click,” Gasso said, “somehow, some way and we’re not going to stop until we figure it out. That’s always the mentality but sure, this is a very talented team that has had a few valleys. But the valleys have been really important for us, I think. What you’re seeing right now is a response to some of that. It may be a little late, but we want to win National Championships. You can be the best of 12 in a conference or you can be the best of 300. We’re always searching for trophies, trust me. We’re hunting them. It’s never too late, you know. It’s never too late. So I am really pumped that we’re moving the needle right now.”

OU pitcher Kierston Deal pitched a complete five innings and gave up just two hits, both of which came with one out to go. BYU’s Hailey Morrow hit a 2-run home run over centerfield for the final Cougar hit. Deal finished the game with four strikeouts and two walks.

“Definitely just a lot of the training we’ve been working on,” Deal said, “and just diving deep into that and understanding how to keep my confidence high even when something doesn’t go good. So just staying in the OK that just happened, next-pitch mentality has kind of helped me grow and helped me to bounce back faster.”

Deal’s season didn’t kick off as strongly as it ended. However, in the later months, she achieved significant milestones like throwing a no-hitter and clinching two consecutive weeks of the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week award. When asked if there was a pivotal moment this season, Deal reflected, “I don’t think it was just one specific moment. It was more of a combination of factors leading up to it. I leaned on the advice of our veteran pitchers and upperclassmen, gathering valuable insights on navigating the season, conference play, and postseason. So, it was about leaning on teammates, coaches, and mentors for guidance.”

Parker continued to demonstrate why she’s a strong contender for Freshman of the Year. In Friday’s game, she concluded with an impressive 3-for-4 batting record, including a solo home run and two runs scored. “I feel liberated,” Parker expressed. “I play with a clear mind, refusing to let any situation overwhelm me. Focusing on my breathing has been incredibly beneficial in keeping myself focused.” Parker’s standout performance wasn’t the only highlight among freshmen players. Kasidi Pickering also delivered a notable performance, going 2-for-2 at the plate. Together, these freshmen contributed six runs, three each, crucial in guiding the Sooners to victory.

Related posts

Leave a Comment