The Norman Transcript

Sports

May 17, 2013

Coach has made all the right moves in historic regular season

NORMAN — The hard truth about Oklahoma softball this time around?

Plain and simple, if the Sooners don’t win a national championship, it will have been a disappointing season.

Good thing everything coach Patty Gasso has done this season has turned to gold. Indeed, the good news is the Sooners don’t look a bit like a team bound to deal with disappointment.

It is a strange thing.

The Sooners — ranked No. 1, the No. 1 overall seed in the entire NCAA bracket and winners of 47 games in 51 tries — have been so good this season, and the players deserve all kinds of credit.

At the plate, they’ve become a murderer’s row, hitting .333, slugging .581 and scoring a tops-in-the-nation 7.55 runs per game. In the circle, led by Keilani Ricketts, with a very big assist from Michelle Gascoigne, the pitching staff has molded a least-in-the-nation 1.09 earned run average.

Still, Gasso deserves equal credit, and not simply because she assembled the group she’ll be sending out to face Marist on opening night of the Norman Regional.

Which is why it will be so unfair to her should her team, the nation’s best for a second straight season even though it was Alabama that left Oklahoma City with last year’s national championship, fail to come through after coming through all season long.

Unfair, but not unjust.

Because the Sooners are so good.

Thursday was press-conference day for the Norman Regional and Gasso may have explained more in 5 minutes about the approach she has taken with her team this season than Bob Stoops has ever explained in an entire season, any season.

Of course, she knew how good her team was and could be. Of course, the way it ended in the rain and past midnight against the Crimson Tide last season, it would be hard for any team to take anything too seriously until it saw another postseason on the horizon.

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