Best of OU head coach Patty Gasso: Week 2

On3 imageby:Bob Przybylo02/14/24

BPrzybylo

That’s just the type of expectations OU softball has. The Sooners went 4-0 that included two victories against top-10 teams but didn’t feel satisfied.

That’s not a problem with head coach Patty Gasso. She doesn’t mind the team just wanting to keep getting better and not getting complacent.

Here is the best of the best from Gasso in previewing Week 2 of the season.

Gasso opening statement:

“I asked the team today to rank our performance one to 10. I had a lot of 4s, I had a lot of 5s and a few 6s. And we just beat two top 10 teams with that level of performance. It’s something to look at and go ‘hey, OK.’ They were not happy but they competed and that’s what’s important to me. It’s a good start, absolutely, it’s a good start. And to me I would say we were probably at a 5-plus. We had a really good practice today because they want to get better each week. So I was pleased with that, even when we weren’t … we don’t want to be our best yet. Definitely not. So it was a good weekend.”

Overall thoughts on the pitching staff?

“I thought Kelly Maxwell threw really well this weekend. Paytn Monticelli came in and helped us with Washington. That was big. Karlie Keeney came in and helped us. Karlie Keeney helped us get into that Long Beach State game. The Long Beach State game was a trap game and I told them from the beginning, and they don’t even know what that means but now they do. Because we just had zero energy after that long evening.

“May needed to be a little more efficient against Washington. She gave up a couple walks, hit a couple batters. We can’t give that up. We can’t give up free bases. I really love the Washington game how Keeney came in and handled her business. And Kelly – a nice combination of those three of keeping us in the game and allowing us to get back into the lead. 

“K.D. had a little bit of a struggle early. I think she showed a little bit of nerves. We just got off the practice field, and she threw wonderfully. We talked about how fun it’s going to be to see how good we’re going to get. if what in their minds were four, five, six-type performances, then what is an eight going to look like? That’s what they’re really striving for right now.”

The confidence growing in Riley Ludlam?

“She kind of doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. She’s a senior but she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. Do you know what I’m talking about? Sometimes when athletes know a lot, they just let their mind tick. It was a big moment and she was kind of surprised that we called on her. I looked at her eyes and I was like ‘oh, no, because they were like ‘like me?’’ She grabs the bat and she starts to hyperventilate a little bit.

“JT walked over and she started to get her breathing down. She just wanted to attack pretty early in the count. She’s got good long leverage. She covers the plate really well, a powerful swing and, even if she swings hard and mishits it, it’s still going to find a place. It was really such a cool moment for a first at-bat as a Sooner.”

What impressed you with Kasidi Pickering?

“She is a really mature hitter for her age. I can hear her talk at practice and she’s talking with the seniors and she’s talking their language. Its pretty cool to hear that. She’s got a good feel for the ball, her swing is a pretty swing. She can cover the plate really well. There are times where she’ll get a little outside of the zone. But I didn’t feel nerves from her. I think she was very timely offensively. She played really well enough to be named one of the all-tournament team. I’m so really proud of her.”

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