“But adrenaline takes over when I’m in the game anyway.”
Self, who had become one of the team’s most reliable hitters with a .425 average, played in 45 games and started 25 before tearing her ACL.
But other lineup shuffling has been necessary to meet different needs.
Gasso was looking for a reliable second pitcher behind starter Kelsey Stevens. Third baseman Shelby Pendley, who hadn’t pitched since high school, stepped in and has a 1.73 earned-run average in 21 appearances, with four saves — the only four saves OU has recorded.
Georgia Casey shifted from second base to shortstop, and outfielder Brittany Williams had to take over at first base when Chamberlain was out. Destinee Martinez has hit in several spots in the order before stepping into the leadoff role.
Maybe Gasso is close to solving her lineup questions, or maybe she’ll keep juggling. Despite the lineup difficulties, it hasn’t hurt the Sooners’ progress from once being ranked No. 23 in the nation to now being one of eight teams left playing for the national title.
“You’re seeing a team that, it doesn’t matter the situation or the circumstance, they just go out and play,” Gasso said. “It’s been a blast to see this group piece things together. I will never forget this group because of what they’ve gone through and how they’ve accomplished it.
“They’re very matter-of-fact and blue-collar. Their expectations are through the roof and they stand to those expectations.”