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College softball: Michelle Gascoigne has gone from timid freshman to seasoned senior

Proof of Gascoigne's experience is in the numbers: 16-3 record and 0.95 earned run average
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM, Staff Writer, skuzydym@opubco.com Published: May 9, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma pitcher Michelle Gascoigne throws against Tulsa during the NCAA Softball Regional at the OU Softball Complex on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, Okla., on Sunday, May 22, 2011. The Sooners beat the Golden Hurricane in the second game 5-0. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman Archives
Oklahoma pitcher Michelle Gascoigne throws against Tulsa during the NCAA Softball Regional at the OU Softball Complex on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, Okla., on Sunday, May 22, 2011. The Sooners beat the Golden Hurricane in the second game 5-0. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman Archives

NORMAN — So much has changed in four years for Michelle Gascoigne.

Oklahoma's No. 2 pitcher has gone from timid freshman to a seasoned senior who does not allow many to cross home plate.

So far this season, she owns a 16-3 record with a 0.95 ERA.

Gascoigne said keeping the earned run average under one doesn't keep her up at night — and even if her final home game is against the Sooners' biggest rival.

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oklahoma will face Oklahoma State, first at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, for a makeup game that was rescheduled due to rain. The teams will then play Saturday in Norman and Sunday in Stillwater.

Looking back, Gascoigne said, the only thing she would change would be to grow a thicker skin.

“My freshman year, if people got on (base) and started scoring runs, I wasn't able to come back from that as easy as I am now,” she said. “I would just kind of fold.”

Mentally, Gascoigne said, she failed to work out of big jams. When one batter reached base, so did the next and the next. When one scored, they all began to score.

That's not the case anymore.

With time and learning, she gained confidence to say, “that's all they're going to get.” The ERA began to shrink. Help from fellow pitcher Keilani Ricketts pushed her along. too.

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