, Muskogee, OK

May 25, 2013

Norman super regional notebook

By Corbin Hosler
CNHI News Service

— 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.

Casey’s streak over

Georgia Casey’s 14-game hitting streak came to an end on Friday after she went hitless with a walk in three at-bats.

She entered the game having hit safely in 18 of her last 19 games, but ground out in both at-bats before walking in the final inning. He streak had been the longest since Amber Flores also went 14 games in 2009.

Gascoigne named All-American

Michelle Gascoigne had already earned several honors this season, and she can add one more to that list after being named to the Capital One Academic All-American second team on Thursday.

Gascoigne, who has been an instrumental part of a 1-2 pitching punch with Keilani Ricketts this season, is the first Sooner named to the team since 2007 when Norrelle Dickson accomplished the feat. Gascoigne is active in extracurricular activities besides softball and was eligible for the award by virtue of holding a GPA above 3.30.

On the field, she has an 18-3 record and a .92 earned run average, tops in the country.