After some time of prayer and trust, I have decided to join the Oklahoma Sooners, I’m grateful for this opportunity and blessed to be a part of such an outstanding program! Can’t wait for January, Go SOONERS #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/G1mh6ChBtY
— 'G' Giselle Juarez (@ggotgame45) November 11, 2018
In case you didn’t already know, Oklahoma Softball is a pretty big deal. The Sooners have won three of the past six national championships and reached the Women’s College World Series in seven of the past eight seasons. So when it came time for Arizona State All-American pitcher Giselle “G” Juarez to transfer out to a new home it only made sense to look towards Norman.
Former Missouri pitchers Paige Lowary and Parker Conrad made a name for themselves after leaving Columbia and landing on campus at Oklahoma. Now, Juarez (who is a much higher profile as a transfer) has sought refuge with Patty Gasso as well.
Making her announcement via Twitter on Sunday, “G” shocked the softball world by announcing that she would be enrolling at OU in January. She comes to Oklahoma after posting a 22-6 record with a 1.22 ERA and 305 strikeouts, leading the Sun Devils to the World Series.
Describe what Oklahoma is getting in “G” as a pitcher. The Sooners have been spoiled to great performances from the circle and she seems to be a “plug-and-play” type ace that will keep OU in the Women’s College World Series.
BV: Juarez is an incredible pitcher, she’ll have a high strikeout rate due to the crazy natural spin on her pitches. If you ever see her write something in the dirt when she pitches, it’s a reminder to herself to get the ball to spin 1000 times, even though it’s not possible it’s something to keep her focused. Aside from her performance, she’s one of the more humble and kind athletes you’ll ever come across. The one thing with her is she didn’t pitch as much her freshman year due to injury, now that she has a full year of tape on her she’ll need to make adjustments. In that WCWS game against Oregon it was the third time they’d seen her last year and the Ducks mentioned they knew the pitch sequences at that point.
What can you tell us about her reasons for leaving ASU?
BV: The reasons for her leaving are unknown, Danielle Gibson the star freshman first baseman also announced her transfer the same day. I don’t think it has to do with their relationship with head coach Trisha Ford, but rather some conflict and friendships ending with teammates. Keep in mind this is all speculation though.
When we spoke at the WCWS you said that that G was the, “most important player” on the ASU roster. Where does her departure leave the Sun Devils in terms of the 2019 season?
BV: With Juarez and Gibson leaving the Sun Devils will take a step back this year. Juarez put them in a spot to win two games every weekend in the Pac-12, now pitching is a question mark. They have two local freshmen girls and Cielo Meza, a transfer from Long Beach St, where she had a very good season last year. I see them moving around between being like the 15th to 30th best team in the nation depending on the pitching.
The addition of Juarez to Oklahoma’s pitching staff keeps the Sooners strong in the circle. After suffering the losses of Lowary and Paige Parker to graduation the Sooners now have a proven World Series pitcher in G Juarez, along with the additions of Shannon Saile, a mid-major standout in her first two seasons at Florida International, and highly touted freshman Brooke Vestal.
Softball players do not need to sit out a year when they’re transferring out of conference as long as they receive a release from their previous school. For more background on “G” here’s a House of Sparky feature on her from the spring.