It ain’t over until it’s over…

We all want this covid thing to go away.  A return to normalcy with the football season looming just 70 days away is the mainstay to all our dreams.  Unfortunately, what happened in Omaha last week is not helping us sleep well at night.  The North Carolina State baseball team was sent packing from the college world series because of a coronavirus outbreak on their team.  Seriously, seven of the eight teams got it right, so what gives.    

I believe that the Wolf Pack second baseman acted recklessly and infected the rest of the team.  I also believe that the NC State coach was derelict in his duties and allowed this to happen.  In times like these, everyone hates the NCAA, but putting those emotions aside, let’s understand that the NCAA is the only one game in town when it comes to enforcing covid protocol rules.  We’re at the mercy of the NCAA.

We all want a national championship season, and we want it now.    We don’t want anything, including an outbreak of a new covid strain to derail this from happening.  Can you imagine a team being sent home prior to the national championship game?  Some would say that this would never happen; maybe we should ask the NC State baseball fans who were within a hair of winning their first NC about this. 

Here’s the deal…this covid thing won’t be over until covid says it’s over.  We need to continue to be vigilant.  We should also provide Lincoln Riley with a bonus clause.  Deliver us to the promise land during these perilous times and the university will pay you an extra million dollars. 

Boomer Sooner…

The future…

Below, we have the top 15 recruiting classes in the country with the Big 12 teams highlighted in bold print.  This list speaks for itself as OU and Texas should vie for top Big 12 honors as we move forward with OSU, Joe C’s favorite team coming in a strong third. 

This is coming on the heels of a banner season in which the Sooners will return most of its moving parts.   Granted, we will miss “G” Jaurez’s arm and Nicole Mendes leadership, but finding a pitcher the caliber of graduate transfer Hope Trautwein to replace Juarez was vintage Patty.   

Not to be ignored is the tough work that Patty was forced to do in convincing four OU scholarship players to move on.  Those scholarships plus those of the two super senior players will allow Patty to accommodate the new class of recruits she has coming in.  Patty is also the master of creating a happy roster of 24 players with only 12 scholarships available. 

Below we have two lists.  The first group consists of the top 15 softball recruiting classes in the country for this year. The second list is that of the OU class of 2021 with individual rankings.      

Top 15 nationally ranked recruiting classes…

1.Oklahoma – 6 top 100 players @ 1, 3, 16, 17, 19, 20…

2. Texas – 6 top 100 players @ 9, 28, 31, 46, 57, 64…

3.Tennessee 5 top 100 players @ 33, 55, 76, 84, 94…

4. Alabama – 4 top 100 players @ 5, 12, 48, 79…

5. Oregon – 4 top 100 players @ 8. 35, 70, 81…

6. LSU – 4 top 100 players @ 22, 34, 47, 8-91…

7. Auburn – 4 top 100 players @ 39, 41, 54, 84…

8. Michigan – 4 top 100 players @ 18, 45, 67, 88…

9. Kentucky – 4 top 100 players @ 38, 68, 75, 85…

10. Florida – 4 top 100 players @ 7, 66, 80, 95…

11. Oklahoma State – 3 top 100 players @ 16, 23, 51…

12.UCLA – 3 top 100 players @ 10, 43, 59…

13. Arizona – 3 top 100 players @ 6, 14, 99…

14. Texas A&M – 3 top 100 players @ 27, 30, 77…

15. Georgia – 3 top 100 players @, 29, 44, 61

The class of 2021…


#1 recruit…..Jordyn Bahl (P/UT)
#3 recruit…..Sophia Nugent (C/3B)
#13 recruit…Quincee Lilio (2B/OF)
#17 recruit…Turiya Coleman (C/UT)
#19 recruit…Alex Waitman (SS)
#90 recruit…Emmy Guthrie (P)

Boomer Sooner…

Class Act…

As we already knew, Patty Gasso is a great softball coach.  To a person, OU fans believe that we are blessed to have her.  Her most recent accomplishments include taking the Sooners through the losing bracket to the championship series and then taking the Sooners through the loser’s bracket in the championship series to winning the title.  I believe that doing both in the same year must be a record. 

I loved how she had a “come to Jesus” meeting in the middle of game two to motivate her team.   They responded by outscoring the Seminoles 11-1 the rest of the way.   She loves her players, and they love her.  That affection was made evident even more clearly by her former players showing up from all over the country to support their coach.  After “G” Juarez’s last pitch on Thursday, Patty made her way to the stands to embrace her former players.  

With this as our backdrop, let’s pile on more adoration for Patty Gasso.  I love winning, but I also love coaches that serve as positive role models for their players. After the game-one loss, she owned her coaching mistakes in a team meeting.   In today’s world where no one admits mistakes, I found Patty’s move, all the more refreshing.    

Patty knew that she had violated coaching 101 by sending the runner from third with her team down by four in the 7th inning of game one.  She also knew that her decision to put freshman pitcher Nicole May in a pressure cooker by starting her in the first game of the championship series was also ill-advised.  She shared as much with her team after game one. 

After taking one for the team, the Sooners responded by taking games two and three.  All coaches second guess themselves, but few ever have the courage to come clean afterwards, particularly on a national stage.  It is no wonder that her current and former players idolize her.   I loved the “in Patty we trust” t-shirts.   

Patty Gasso is not only a Hall of Fame college softball coach for OU, she is also one class act. 

Boomer Sooner…

Four down, two to go…

Things were looking bleak for the Sooners after that shocking loss to James Madison in game one of the WCWS.  It reminded me of those early season losses in football to Iowa State and Kansas State.   We were down, but we knew that our talent and our coaching would turn things around. 

Then again, for us to go through Georgia, UCLA and James Madison twice with no wiggle room puts this bunch in a league of their own.   Like we always say, Lincoln Riley and Patty Gasso are cut from the same cloth…Crimson…

The good news for OU is that Alabama and Florida State were forced to throw their ace in the elimination game.  As we saw in the James Madison game even the best pitcher has her limit.  Softball is different than baseball in that girls can make repeated starts, but doing so will eventually take its toll. Unfortunately, most coaches don’t seem to get this. 

As for the championship series. I really did not care who won the Alabama/Florida State game.  I think they both have one solid pitcher with average hitting outside a couple players.   Defense is average at best for both teams.  With our superior coaching staff, our better than average pitching and our awesome hitters, I believe we have a great chance of finishing the deal.   

With all of this in mind, I have advised Joe to make room in the trophy case for another National Championship trophy.  I have also told him to get to work on that new Patty Gasso Stadium. 

Boomer Sooner…

Softball…

I grew up dreaming of playing baseball forever.   When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would unabashedly reply that I wanted to be a baseball player.   Unfortunately, that pesky curve ball eventually caught up with me and playing long term was not in my future.   

That’s okay, I decided to do the next best thing…I became a coach.  My summers were filled with coaching American Legion baseball.  Mentoring Moore and Westmoore players the nuances of the game became a big part of my life…and then it happened.  God threw me his version of a curve ball.  Instead of a son, God blessed me with a daughter.  That’s right, overnight my baseball world was turned upside down.     

I became my daughter’s worst nightmare.  I became her softball coach.  Actually, she will never admit this, but she loved it as much as I did.  She loves telling people today that she and I started the fast pitch program at Heritage Hall.  She isn’t far off.  I was the first coach at HH, and she was the pitcher, the only pitcher.   As we know coaches are a dime a dozen, but pitchers are simply indispensable on a fast pitch team. 

Winning took a backseat to teaching and more importantly to learning, which made the new experience more fun.  For a coach, it was perfect fit as I found that teaching good habits was a lot easier that breaking bad ones.  I also found that girls were easier to coach than boys.  They listened intently and learned quickly.  Softball girls also transitioned between joy and laughter during the game to tears after a loss to resolve for the next opportunity.   Never a dull moment.   

Okay, here’s my point…I will always love baseball and I will always get sucked into OU baseball every year, but softball has become my game of choice.  Thankfully, Patty Gasso has given me an OU outlet for that love.   Yearly forays to the College World Series certainly don’t hurt. 

2021 presents a perfect case for OU softball.  We have all suffered through this pandemic far too long and we are searching for a way out.   With Nicole May surging in the circle at just the right time and with a strong defense and the best hitting team since the Bronx Bombers, this team will be hard to beat. 

Getting that number one seed is paying off in spades.  We have the soft side of the bracket with the Alabama and UCLA on the other side.  We have a great chance of making it to the best of three championship series.  At that point, we’ll take our chances.  I would buy my tickets early…this is going to be a fun ride.

Boomer Sooner…