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MOJOERASER

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am really excited to see the new team. I wanted Flores to get more playing time this year and with Arnold graduating she may get a starting spot unless a few talented freshman can come in and beat her out for second base assuming Clifton takes over at shortstop. I also and intrigued by Elam the catcher she is a good batter and was surprised we didn’t see her as much. Going into next season i suspect Gasso will be trying lot of new things with all the new freshman coming in. Here is a break down of the new freshman coming in
And some payers fighting for starting spots.

Locks to start

Alo if she isn’t DH will be left field
Mendez could move to center or stay at right
Romero is 3rd basemen
Clifton is shortstop
Knighten is first base.
Elam. by default is our starter at catcher unless a player transfers in.... way better batter than Leah Wodach

As you can see we lost a few key positions but have several people ready to take over

Flores at second
Pitcher Lopez as our ace? Really depends on incoming freshmen.

Freshman who will contribute significantly

P Brooke Vestal if she’s the real deal and over injuries then she will be at worst the number two. Lopez was also rated the number one pitcher at one time in the 2016 class but had injuries as well. This will be a battle for the ace position.

Utility Grace Lyons has been mentioned as a defensive superstar ... her position played in high school was short stop If there is a player who could come in right away and be one of the best defenders this is her. If she gets up to speed fast she might over take Flores in the second short stop role.

Grace green is listed as a pitcher/3rd basemen who can hit and has some power. I see pinch hitting mainly her role.i don’t feel she was recruited to be a pitcher but she can be used like Mendez has been. She also could fill in at outfield because she’s a great defender as well.

The other freshmen will be hard pressed to see action.

Key substitutes who are trying to fill one outfield position. Rodgers, Lundberg, Fale Aviu
Shultz, Vanessa T,

They say Shultz is a great defender but she really struggled to bat this year, she struck out badly on several occasions. Aviu really hasn’t found a position in outfield and may be the dh all year. Vanessa has mainly been used as a pinch hitter so I don’t know where she fits in. The two who I think may get a shot and are both seniors are Kylie Lundberg and Reagan Rodgers. Rodgers may have a leg up due to her speed, I feel Kylie is a better hitter and hits for power.

Gasso has a lot of options but i suspect it will take a while to figure things out and with us having to find two elite pitchers it could be a very slow start next season. Losing 10 plus games isn’t out of the question. We gotta hope either Lopez gets some better spin or movement on ball or have Vestals come in and be like Paige was her freshmen year, Gasso reloads and on paper this team looks like a border line World Series/ super regional team. I feel like the seniors coming back will be hungry and players will get every opportunity to fight for a spot. L
scrybe

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Reply with quote  #2 
Yes, the Sooners are losing some powerful pieces. How do you replace a Page Parker and a Nicole Pendley, who, by the way, might just be the most underrated player in Sooners history?

It will be a major challenge for Patty to overhaul the pitching staff. Gotta doubt there's another Parker or Lowary waiting in the wings. But seniors Romero, Knighten, Clifton and Aviu, and, of course, Super Soph Alo will all be back, and maybe that's enough to get OU back to the WCWS. But, yes, pitching is the big unknown.
LandLottery

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Reply with quote  #3 
OU made it to the CWS with Stevens.  A good pitcher and a great team can get you there.  Stevens with Shelby Pendley in relief.

Parker Conrad may also be in the mix.  Lopez, Vestal, and Conrad would be good.  If one emerges as a real talent, it would help.  Green?  Don't know.

If Lam can't hit, does she remain at #1?  Do you switch to Flores?  We have used others in practice.

If Lyons is the defensive star that I have heard, Gasso might use a solid defender at SS.  Often, our SS is a weak hitter, Pendley excepting, who can field.  Arnold was our weakest in a run-producing situation.  But, her glove kept her in the game.

Need to see what kind of pop is in some freshman hitters.  Nobody mentions Skelly, and she was a power hitting catcher at one time in HS.
Goober12

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Reply with quote  #4 
We need a catcher transfer STAT!!! 
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SECFan04

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Reply with quote  #5 
How did Vestal do her senior season?
MOJOERASER

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SECFan04
How did Vestal do her senior season?


She was hurt last year don’t know if it was her whole year or not.
Goober12

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Reply with quote  #7 
Its hard to find any info on Vestal of recent. FloSoftball did a small series on her but it was a couple years back. I hope she's ready for the big leagues, were going to need her! 
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Oger

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Reply with quote  #8 
1) Vestal was All-State her Senior year as well as PGF All-American so if she is not at 100% she is pretty close to it.
2) Clifton will get first shot at SS but Lyons is going to push her and that is saying a lot of what I think about Lyons fielding. 
3) I love Flores confidence at the plate and she will get first shot at 2B but again Lyons will push her for playing time.
4) It will be impossible for Coach Gasso to replace one pitcher who was a 4 time All-American and another who was the first player chosen in the NPF draft. That said, Lopez is solid, Vestal may come in and blow the doors off the place, and Green's pitching abilities are severely underrated. Green IMO will start off in the circle.
5) Should Knighten not recover well from another knee surgery in this offseason then Skelly will be the choice at 1B. Too much power in her bat to not get her shot.
6) Mendes is the obvious choice for Centerfield as she has the most experience in the outfield and she is the best athlete on the team as evidenced by her winning the teams pre-season triathlon both years she has been on campus.
7) Elam will be the starter at Catcher next year but the question is who will be her back up? Gasso said last week on the radio that they are looking for a transfer so you know the transfer applications have probably been flooding in. It's a temporary issue though since Super Frosh Kinzie Hansen will on campus for the 2020 season.
DunninLA

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOJOERASER

P Brooke Vestal if she’s the real deal and over injuries then she will be at worst the number two. Lopez was also rated the number one pitcher at one time in the 2016 class but had injuries as well. This will be a battle for the ace position.L
Has anyone watched her after 2015, which is the last year she pitched at PGF against elite hitters?  That year she had a decent 1.61 ERA in 16U.    I do find it curious that almost all rising sophomores play 18s that  summer, but Vestal stayed back in 16s.  Odd.

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upontop

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Reply with quote  #10 
She pitched FC-Rico to the PGF 18U championship in 2016.

As for Oger’s post about Sammy Skelly taking over for Shay, if Shay can’t go, which knowing the type of surgery she had I would bet she will be back to form and ready to go by the start of the season, it would be hard to pencil in an incoming freshman that hasn’t played travel ball at a national level at 1b. Especially since she is also coming off knee surgery. I would think Fale would be a more viable option since she has experience, but like I said I fully expect Shay to be healthy.
DunninLA

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Reply with quote  #11 
re: Vestal, thanks, missed that.  Will remove that question from my post.
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MOJOERASER

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Reply with quote  #12 
Brooke is over 6 foot tall and is compared to some of the all time legends as far as body type and skills. She also played two years up on all travel teams and dominated. Will that work for her in college , we shall see. For those of you who don’t think she will be a starter or compete for the ace role, look back to Paige Parker’s freshman year. It can be done and we better hope she’s as good as advertised. Lopez needs to pick up her game her pitches were just so flat and no spin at the end of the season.
Valley18

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SECFan04
How did Vestal do her senior season?


Vestal was able to take her team to the “Final 4” in the playoffs for the first time in her 4 yr hs career. Made it all the way to the title game but lost by a score of 5-3
outofzone

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Reply with quote  #14 
Mojo says Vestal "dominated" at every level of Travel Ball.

Valley18 says Vestel took her team "for the first time" to her High School Final Four.

Huge disconnect between those first two sentences.

If she's as good as all the OU posters are hyping her up to be, seems she should have run roughshod over ANY high school team all 4 years. No State Titles? Find that curious.

And dominating in Travel Ball, low bar but if you say so.

I know OU needs pitching help but don't anoint her just yet. Maybe wait to see if she can stay injury free AND, work her way into the rotation. 

Again, most any decent pitcher I've ever heard of got couple State Titles under their belt playing mostly 3 deep batting lineups in High School Softball. Just an observation.
1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #15 
So many knee surgeries at such a young age for so many different top hs and up players. Not good!
SECFan04

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Reply with quote  #16 
It will be interesting to see who steps up on the mound next year
D22

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Reply with quote  #17 
If Vestal is healthy she the real deal.  She doesn't blow anyone away with speed but her ball movement is significant and doesn't hurt she is a lefty.  She lives in the country so don't know what kind of talent she had around her in high school but I have seen her mow thru some elite hitters at USA tryouts.  I just hope she doesn't feel the pressure of being the chosen one to fill in the shoes of Parker and Lowery.  Mendez is a decent pitcher, she could get some innings in. 
I don't understand the comment about needing a transfer catcher, thought three of the freshmen this year were listed as catchers?  Is the program losing some kids transferring out?  Seems like OU normally transfers a few players in every season just curious if that is the Norm.  Sounds like Oklahoma needs a super utility that could play SS and do some catching if need be.  

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IJ10

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by D22
If Vestal is healthy she the real deal.  She doesn't blow anyone away with speed but her ball movement is significant and doesn't hurt she is a lefty.  She lives in the country so don't know what kind of talent she had around her in high school but I have seen her mow thru some elite hitters at USA tryouts.  I just hope she doesn't feel the pressure of being the chosen one to fill in the shoes of Parker and Lowery.  Mendez is a decent pitcher, she could get some innings in. 
I don't understand the comment about needing a transfer catcher, thought three of the freshmen this year were listed as catchers?  Is the program losing some kids transferring out?  Seems like OU normally transfers a few players in every season just curious if that is the Norm.  Sounds like Oklahoma needs a super utility that could play SS and do some catching if need be.  

She’s a Right handed pitcher.
D22

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Reply with quote  #19 
Oh hell... OU is screwed [smile]
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Scupino

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SECFan04
It will be interesting to see who steps up on the mound next year


Who steps into the circle right?
Chester45

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by outofzone
Mojo says Vestal "dominated" at every level of Travel Ball.

Valley18 says Vestel took her team "for the first time" to her High School Final Four.

Huge disconnect between those first two sentences.

If she's as good as all the OU posters are hyping her up to be, seems she should have run roughshod over ANY high school team all 4 years. No State Titles? Find that curious.

And dominating in Travel Ball, low bar but if you say so.

I know OU needs pitching help but don't anoint her just yet. Maybe wait to see if she can stay injury free AND, work her way into the rotation. 

Again, most any decent pitcher I've ever heard of got couple State Titles under their belt playing mostly 3 deep batting lineups in High School Softball. Just an observation.




She won the PGF 18U National Champuonship as a 16 year old. Her pitching is what carried the team. That trumps anything “high school”. She was mostly injured the next year. Now that she’s healthy again she’s making pretty much every all America team. Being from the country in Texas doesn’t matter when you play travel ball for Firecrackers RICO and face all the top PGF competition.
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #22 
Vestal's resume is similar to Miranda Elish's going into senior year of HS
scrybe

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
Vestal's resume is similar to Miranda Elish's going into senior year of HS


So, may I assume you're calling that a good thing, Lefty? [smile]

(Your comments are often cryptic and a tad tough for a country boy to understand.)
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #24 
Just is what it is. Miranda carried the 16U Beverly Bandits to the 16 PGF title. No state HS titles

Errors and a bad offense can kill even an utterly dominant pitcher at a public school
scrybe

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
Just is what it is. Miranda carried the 16U Beverly Bandits to the 16 PGF title. No state HS titles

Errors and a bad offense can kill even an utterly dominant pitcher at a public school


So, I can assume was a compliment, then?
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #26 
It's certainly no P5-performance death sentence!

LOL
RahOKU

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
It's certainly no P5-performance death sentence!

LOL


Yeah, I think Elish has done OK at the D-1 level!

I'd say if Vestal's freshman season equals Elish's first season, the Sooners will be pretty happy.

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upontop

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Reply with quote  #28 
Vestal didn’t pitch a complete game in the title game and I don’t know the specifics. She started the game and then gave way to another pitcher, came back in with the score tied 3-3, then the final two runs scored on passed balls.

I don’t think the results of a high school game have much bearing on her collegiate career, with Lombardi’s guidance she should do really well and help the team compete to get back to the WCWS.

D22....you must be kin to AD? If so, best wishes to her, from the looks of things she had a great season.
MOJOERASER

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Reply with quote  #29 
All I was saying is she has been playing up 2-4 years of age in travel ball and been dominant. Again she was injured her junior senior season correct? So what’s the big deal if her high school team isn’t any good. She is 6”1 also. She is the real deal .
jayrot

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by outofzone
Mojo says Vestal "dominated" at every level of Travel Ball.

Valley18 says Vestel took her team "for the first time" to her High School Final Four.

Huge disconnect between those first two sentences.

If she's as good as all the OU posters are hyping her up to be, seems she should have run roughshod over ANY high school team all 4 years. No State Titles? Find that curious.

And dominating in Travel Ball, low bar but if you say so.

I know OU needs pitching help but don't anoint her just yet. Maybe wait to see if she can stay injury free AND, work her way into the rotation. 

Again, most any decent pitcher I've ever heard of got couple State Titles under their belt playing mostly 3 deep batting lineups in High School Softball. Just an observation.


I’m not here to defend Vestal (bc the few times I saw her she wasn’t that impressive but was young), but the “got couple state titles under their belt” statement was odd. Alexis Osorio never had a state title, don’t think Rachel Garcia had one either (could be wrong there), Sydney Littlejohn never had a state title.
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