MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OU

May 25, 2013

Norman super regional notebook

Bat girl serves as inspiration

Sydney Angle couldn’t be at Friday’s game. The 9-year-old was at Plaza Towers Elementary during the devastating tornado that struck Moore on Monday, and was one of the children killed there.

But her sister Casey was at the game, wearing her sister’s jersey to honor her memory while serving as Oklahoma’s bat girl.

It was an emotional experience for both the family and the Sooners. OU met with Sydney’s team, Bring it ’04, earlier in the week and brought the squad out to Marita Hynes Field for Friday’s game.

For the Sooners, who approached Friday’s contest saying they wanted to provide a “distraction” for their fans. Having Casey in the dugout throughout the game was a reminder of that, and assistant coach Melyssa Lombardi said it was an inspiring event for her team.

“Having her in our dugout is a reminder that, yes we’re in the middle of a super regional, but let’s just go out, relax and play,” she said. “There’s people now that don’t have their homes and they’re dealing with tragedy. Meeting her team gave them a chance to see why they originally started playing this game, to play with their friends and have fun playing the game of softball.”

Gasso rushes to graduation

Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso didn’t stick around long after the Sooners run-ruled Texas A&M on Friday. In fact, she left immediately after OU wrapped up the win.

The reason? Her son DJ, a senior at Norman North, graduated on Friday night.

Assistant coach Melyssa Lombardi took her place in postgame interviews.

“We were hoping to play a great game so we could get her on her way,” she said after Keilani Ricketts ended the game in walk-off fashion with a three-run bomb in the sixth inning.

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