OU softball: Patty Gasso has been solving lineup puzzles all season

Over the last two months, the lineup card must’ve felt like an unsolvable puzzle for Gasso, with a constant stream of injuries, adjustments and shuffling to find the right mix both in the field and at the plate.
by Scott Wright Published: May 26, 2014
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photo - Head coach Patty Gasso talks with her team as the University of Oklahoma Sooner (OU) softball team defeats Tennessee in game three of the NCAA super regional at Marita Hynes Field on May 25, 2014 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Head coach Patty Gasso talks with her team as the University of Oklahoma Sooner (OU) softball team defeats Tennessee in game three of the NCAA super regional at Marita Hynes Field on May 25, 2014 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

“Game by game and at-bat by at-bat, I’m getting more comfortable,” Chamberlain said. “I’m kind of testing things out and seeing what my body lets me do and what it doesn’t. We have a couple days for some good rest and some rehab for me.

“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.”

by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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