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WCWS: Sooners finish challenging season as one of the last six teams standing

Injuries hit the Sooners hard this season, with Kady Self lost for the year and Lauren Chamberlain reduced to a fraction of the player who hit 60 home runs her first two years. But the team kept grinding forward.
by Scott Wright Published: June 1, 2014

Over and over again during her final postgame press conference of the softball season, Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso referenced the journey she and her team had been on.

Having come up short of the ultimate destination — a second consecutive national championship — Gasso stressed the value of the journey her Sooners took this year.

In truth, it lasted longer than it ever should have, considering everything the Sooners had to battle through. Yet the Sooners still won 51 games and were one of the final six teams remaining at the Women’s College World Series when the season ended with a 4-2 loss to top-seeded Oregon on Saturday night.

“Every player on this team has a story of selflessness and hard work and teamwork,” Gasso said. “I’m incredibly proud of my coaching staff. They were phenomenal. They were trying to piece things together and pull things out of players. And, man, I've had so many different lineups and worked these athletes in different places. It's not about the ring right now, it's about the journey that we took.

“I'm so thankful for their efforts and so incredibly proud.”

The challenge began from the start of the season, with the task of replacing two-time national player of the year Keilani Ricketts at pitcher.

Kelsey Stevens, a sophomore who transferred in from Stanford, filled the gap adequately, showing more and more development as the season wore on.

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by Scott Wright
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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