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OU softball: Oklahoma pitcher Kelsey Stevens thinks rough regional weekend prepared her for Tennessee

Kelsey Stevens allowed 16 earned runs in three NCAA regional games last weekend, but she believes that experience made her ready for the Sooners’ Super Regional against Tennessee, which begins Friday night in Norman.
by Jason Kersey Published: May 22, 2014

NORMAN — Oklahoma sophomore pitcher Kelsey Stevens allowed a grand slam in each of the Sooners’ first two regional games last weekend.

Over the course of Oklahoma’s three-game regional sweep, opponents from Bryant and Texas A&M scored a total of 16 earned runs and blasted six homers off the Sooners’ starting pitcher.

And OU coach Patty Gasso thinks Stevens is better for it.

“I think one of the best things that could’ve happened is what happened last weekend, because now she’s got that out of the way,” Gasso said.

The Sooners begin Super Regional play Friday night at home against Tennessee in a rematch of last year’s Women’s College World Series championship series, when OU had all-time great Keilani Ricketts in the circle. This year, the Sooners will be counting on Stevens, who transferred after spending her freshman year at Stanford.

Stevens, an Albuquerque, N.M., native, was 15-7 with a 2.99 ERA in her one season at Stanford before joining the Sooners last offseason. She’s made 51 appearances in 2014 with a 35-7 record and 2.42 ERA.

“It really just helps me work through situation,” Stevens said of her regional struggles. “Anything can happen in the postseason. Everybody’s gonna come out to play, so it was a good experience for me to work through that.

“Texas A&M had very good hitters, and I think it’s gonna be similar to Tennessee. It was good for preparation.”

One thing Stevens certainly has working in her favor is the Sooners’ deep, powerful lineup that includes players such as Shelby Pendley and Lauren Chamberlain.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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