Patty Gasso and the Oklahoma Sooners are a fourth of the way there! Win one win under their belts on Elimination Saturday they still need to face UCLA this evening for a shot at reaching Sunday’s semifinal round where they’ll need to win two more games. Here’s what the Sooners coach had to say after defeating Georgia 8-0 in the early game on Saturday.
Honestly, our hitters just make me better so just going up against them every day in practice is something that — like, I have to find new ways and they make me better every day by just like competing against me. So I think that’s why I did what I did today.Giselle Juarez on what makes her such a good pitcher
I would say Thursday, we weren’t ourselves, and we have — we have no mercy. This is our game on the line. We have to push and push, and we switched it, and turned it on, and it was so much fun.Mackenzie Donihoo on the difference between Thursday and Saturday morning
I couldn’t imagine it being much better. Actually we came out a little bit slow offensively, just trying to feel things out. I tried to push the envelope a little bit and got runners in motion a bit more, just to force some of them to have to swing the bat. It worked out really well for Lu. It worked out really well for Hansen. I don’t need to mess with Jocy. She handles her business.
Defensively, I thought we were spot on but most of all Giselle, seeing Giselle handle herself on this big stage when she’s gone through some ups and downs this season, it’s really one of the highlights of this weekend.Patty Gasso on her team’s energy against Georgia following Thursday’s loss
I felt in control of my bat. I knew what I wanted and I knew what she was going to throw me, and we went. So, let’s go.Donihoo on her big day from the plate
I think it will be a lasting memory in her career. It has been a tough year for her. I think she just really wanted to be the pitcher that she used to be and it just didn’t come as naturally as she expected, and I think sometimes she was just trying so hard, it didn’t work right for her.
And maybe these last couple weeks, she didn’t get to pitch quite as much and it just settled her mind, like why am I even standing in the bullpen waiting to be called, because I’ve been messing with my mind a little bit. I think she really cleared that out and got right with herself and she had really good practices the last couple weeks and this is what showed today.
I’m very pleased, but I wasn’t really surprised because I saw her doing it against her own teammates in the last week or so.Gasso on the significance of Juarez’s performance
Oh, those, super important obviously. But just like really game-changing. We kept the momentum based off those plays and just heads-up plays, and I think that’s just something they do every day at practice is just practicing to be heads-up, and they just executed today.Juarez on the importance of big plays behind her
I honestly thought it was too high and it wasn’t going to go over. It went over and I knew that once we got a run on, we were going to keep pushing, keep pushing, get another run for G because she was pitching a great game and that’s all we needed to do was keep pushing and put another run on.Donihoo on how her second inning home run opened things up for the Sooners
Yeah, she’s been waiting very patiently, and understanding — it’s not always easy. There’s some other athletes that are dealing with kind of the same thing. But it’s about matchups, and this matchup was really good for her. She’s really kind of pretty clutch in times, like I was calling a run and hit and our runner was going and if she wanted the pitch, she’s hitting it.
I think about every time, except last at-bat, we called the same thing. I think that really energized our team, as well, because it was just really clutch-style offense that we were producing with Lu, and energized the team. So she’s been waiting her turn, and she’s going to get more opportunities as long as they align with her swing. But she was the catalyst today and I know that was really exciting for her and the rest of our team.Gasso on Donihoo’s performance
We put all of our focus on Georgia because if you start looking ahead, then you’re going to get burned. We know enough about UCLA that we can go back and get ourselves prepared. We’ve had experiences with them in the past. We know they are a great-hitting team. We know that they have the best pitcher in the country. So this is going to be definitely a challenge, but we really didn’t get locked into much of that. We couldn’t.
On Friday, we were working with our machines and some of our execution that would align with either Alabama or UCLA, because you really didn’t know, when we were hitting, we didn’t know who we were going to play.
So this is going to be just purely creating a plan, executing a plan, understanding it, trusting it, and leaving it on the field. That’s all we can do here.Gasso on having just a few hours to prepare to face UCLA
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