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Softballjunkie223

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Reply with quote  #1 
Back to back to back national champions?
RahOKU

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Reply with quote  #2 
Maybe. Replacing just one senior. Strong, senior pitching (Parker, Lowary), stud freshman power hitter (Alo), core infield group (Knighten, Arnold, Clifton, Romero) has two nattys already, Mendes could be POY candidate. I'd say they've got a shot.
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #3 
POY candidate?

Don't get me wrong, 1.039 OPS is a fine number. But that doesn't sniff POY unless the player also has 20 wins in the circle
lotsoffish

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'd say it would be an upset if they did not repeat again. It would take a team peaking at the right time to upset them like they did to others last year. 
HenryLouisAaron

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Reply with quote  #5 
<< Maybe. Replacing just one senior. Strong, senior pitching (Parker, Lowary), stud freshman power hitter (Alo), core infield group (Knighten, Arnold, Clifton, Romero) has two nattys already, Mendes could be POY candidate. I'd say they've got a shot. >> (RahOKU)

Of course they have a shot. But there will be a ton of hurdles along the way. I am looking forward to watching it all unfold as we get to watch the 2018 season.

I guess Mendes "could" be a POY candidate. But I'd say they probably have six other players with as good a chance or better - at being a POY candidate (as Mendes). And it always bugs me when people talk about Oklahoma - and do not mention Nicole Pendley (as you did in your post). You mentioned 8 Sooner players... but no mention of Pendley. But she was one of their best offensive weapons - and is also an excellent defensive CF. Somehow she seems to be overlooked by many... and I find that very hard to understand. 
Softballjunkie223

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Oh. Going from this question if a team were to win the national championship next season which team has the best shot to do it?
leip822

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Softballjunkie223
Oh. Going from this question if a team were to win the national championship next season which team has the best shot to do it?

Oregon and their stacked pitching staff

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outofzone

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Quote:
Originally Posted by leip822
Oregon and their stacked pitching staff


+1
RahOKU

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Reply with quote  #9 
No snub of "Thing 2" intended. Love Nicole's clutchness, especially in the post-season. I think she does best when she's not slotted high in the batting order. She's great in the field, really steady.

At the same time, Mendes is a 5-tool player, a difference maker who isn't afraid of the big stage. Homered in both games against the Gators. She complied some stunning numbers while playing just half the season. Don't know if those numbers improve or decline over a whole season. But when you can hit, hit for power, bunt for hits, etc., there's tremendous potential. Of course, she won't sneak up on anyone next season. I think she's calm, mature for her years and just a great athlete. Can't wait to see how she progresses.
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #10 
And, I will say this.... Oklahoma's numbers being hidden from view by Gasso can only hurt such individual accolades, as great as it may be for team, team, team
LandLottery

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
POY candidate?

Don't get me wrong, 1.039 OPS is a fine number. But that doesn't sniff POY unless the player also has 20 wins in the circle
She isn't likely to be used that much as a pitcher.
LandLottery

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Reply with quote  #12 
I think this year's Oklahoma team will be much better than the last two years.  In 2016, OU won despite having only one pitcher that you would want in a CWS game.  At the beginning of 2017, OU had only one pitcher and a couple of injuries to two key components:  Knighten and Romero.  By the end of the year, Lopez and Lowary had come into their own, and Lowary may have surpassed Parker.  The weakness at the bottom of the order may be plugged this year with the arrivals of Alo and Schultz.  Mendes and Conrad aid the pitching staff further.  The top of the order, uncertain for much of 2017, is solid with Mendes and Clifton.

But, in a championship series, one hot pitcher  can hold a team at bay.  It is conceivable that a really good pitcher could shut OU down in two of three.  It is difficult when you have to pitch around an entire lineup rather than just a couple of really good hitters.  I think you have to favor OU to repeat, and a fourth straight title is not out of the question, if they can replace The Paiges.
surfinusa

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Reply with quote  #13 
The Sooners cemented their identity on their Championship run after losing to North Dakota in the 1st game of the Regional Playoffs. They "toughened up" and came together after adopting the "Power of Three" motto that they learned from their team counselor.  

Paige Lowary emerged in a role that allowed her talents to thrive.  We could see her become stronger in each appearance.  I saw the pitchers of the year in the final series against Florida... Kelly Barnhill wasn't included.

The Sooners floundered through February for several reasons: the final days and death of Patty Gasso's father affected the team, and the sophomores struggled with handling their 2016 success.  Many believed that the burden to repeat was up to them as an individual.  There was extreme competition to improve on their own statistics from 2016 to justify themselves as everyday players.  They had no team cohesiveness. 

Nicole Mendes entered the lineup March 10th.  She showed leadership from the git-go with a 35-game on-base streak (March 18 to May 26), and a 21-game hit streak from April 14 to May 26 (two off the school record).  Nicole led the team with a .408 batting season average, led the Sooners in stolen bases and tied for the lead in triples. She finished the year with an On Base Percentage of .449 and a slugging percentage of .598
 
Mendes caught a lot of attention by going 4-4 at Loyola Marymount with 3 runs scored, 2 doubles and a triple coming a HR short of becoming the first Sooner ever to hit for the cycle (3/16). She capped off her first year on the team with a leadoff homer in the finals against Florida on the first pitch of the the deciding Game 2 of the series.  Nicole was named Big XII Freshman of the Year.

Of course, accolades can be recited for most all of the team players but I point out Mendes because, by the end of May, she was the reference point for the rest of the lineup. It was reported by ESPN that players looked to her for leadership at the plate; the general feeling was if Nicole is "on" then it set the tone for the others.

HenryLouisAaron is correct that at least 6 players could be POY for 2018.  Nicole Pendley is unjustifiably overlooked; she certainly has homerun power and has made many "gee whiz" defensive gems in the outfield.  If a "Clutch Performer of the Year" trophy was handed out, then the entire Sooner lineup would win it hands down both on offense and defense. 

Hopefully Jocelyn Alo, who is a catcher, adjusts to college ball and maybe moves into the DP slot in the batting order.  That would allow Fale Aviu to return to the outfield with Mendes probably shifting over to left field.  

Also, the Sooners add Lynnsie Elam, Eliyah Flores, and Alexa Schultz in the class of 2018.  All have superstar pedigrees from high school and travel ball.  “This class, as a whole, has a lot of power,” said Coach Patty Gasso. “They can hit the ball hard, and they’re very strong.

IMHO, the only way the Sooners don't repeat is if they forget their forged identity of being a gritty, "whatever it takes" team or mess up or if key injuries take away vital weapons.  Florida was in the same class of team as the Sooners, but I noticed a significant drop-off after that for WCWS teams in terms of athleticism, talent and focus.  

The Championship is there to win for the Sooners. They can only beat themselves not to repeat. 



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jdraj

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Reply with quote  #14 
More like first team since Florida, not UCLA, but I'd say Oklahoma always is in contention. With their coaching and recruiting coupled with the boost of the crowd if they can make it to the home stretch they are rarely out of the post-season convo.
Softballjunkie223

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Reply with quote  #15 
Florida did not 3peat
surfinusa

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Reply with quote  #16 

Oklahoma won back to back championships in 2016 & 2017. If they win in 2018 that would be back-to-back-to-back. That would be 3 championships in a row.

UCLA was the last team to win 3 championships in a row in 1988, 1989 and 1990.

 

Florida won back-to-back championships in 2014 & 2015.

Oklahoma won the championship in 2013. Since 2012, Oklahoma has won 3 WCWS, Florida has won 2.


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jdraj

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Reply with quote  #17 
Haha yeah it was the back to back that was confusing. That usually just means the two not three. I had gotten my years mixed up and forgot Oklahoma already had two in the row.
Softballjunkie223

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Reply with quote  #18 
Lol no problem. Oklahoma is scary and with the classes coming in will be scary for quite some time.
surfinusa

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LandLottery
At the beginning of 2017, OU had only one pitcher and a couple of injuries to two key components:  Knighten and Romero.  By the end of the year, Lopez and Lowary had come into their own, and Lowary may have surpassed Parker.  

But, in a championship series, one hot pitcher can hold a team at bay.  It is conceivable that a really good pitcher could shut OU down in two of three.  It is difficult when you have to pitch around an entire lineup rather than just a couple of really good hitters.  I think you have to favor OU to repeat, and a fourth straight title is not out of the question, if they can replace The Paiges.


Excellent post.  With all due respect to Paige Parker, I don't think the Sooners would have repeated without Paige Lowary.  The sudden adjustment that the opposing team has to make from Parker's style to Lowary's was too much to overcome.  

When ESPN interviewed Tim Walton in the 2nd game in the 4th inning he said, "we just have to focus on getting some runs before the fastballer comes in, probably in the 6th inning."  It's easy to imagine most coaches were saying that about Lowary during the final run.

When we talk about a "hot" pitcher, Kelly Barnhill was supposed to be the Queen Bee in 2017.  That hype kinda went down the drain with Knighten's mammoth shot in the 17th.  Sure, any pitcher can have a teams' number one game, but I don't think any team can sweep the Sooners and few can hold them scoreless.  

The best we can say is that type of situation didn't occur in 2017.  But, I didn't see the pitching talent in the WCWS that would overwhelm the Sooners in 2018.  Unless someone emerges out of the ether, then I'd say the Sooners can wrap it up.

And, your speculation on 2019 is based on solid ground.  We have Brooke Vestal, the Flosoftball #1 player, already committed in 2018 to OU.  She is fastballing RH pitcher with a super pedigree. Kinzie Hansen, catcher, the Flosoftball #1 player in 2019, is committed to OU. Further up the road Jayda Coleman, shortstop, the Flosoftball #1 player in 2020, is committed to OU.

Patty is filling the stable with pedigreed fillies.  She told one recruit that she "only recruits the elite of the elite" to come to OU.  The architect for the new softball complex expansion had better allow for a whole lot space for the trophy case.  There will be plenty of brass that the Sooners will bring home in the future.

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surfinusa

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdraj
Haha yeah it was the back to back that was confusing. That usually just means the two not three. I had gotten my years mixed up and forgot Oklahoma already had two in the row.


Yeah, back-to-back-to-back is a foreign concept these days with so much parity in college sports.  I went back to the NCAA table on Champions for each year to make sure that UCLA was the last team to do it.  In fact, they are the only team to do it since they show the records beginning in 1982.

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upontop

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
And, I will say this.... Oklahoma's numbers being hidden from view by Gasso can only hurt such individual accolades, as great as it may be for team, team, team


Oklahoma's stats are not hidden, they are published for every game under the "game notes" Tab. You just have to know where to look.

https://admin.xosn.com/pdf9/5420507.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=31000&
LandLottery

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Reply with quote  #22 
I was a bit confused by the hidden remark.  Are you not aware that every stat for every player in the NCAA and every team is entered on the  NCAA website after every game.  You can get stats for every game, every year, an entire career.

http://stats.ncaa.org/teams/24690

Get on that site and play around.
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LandLottery
I was a bit confused by the hidden remark.  Are you not aware that every stat for every player in the NCAA and every team is entered on the  NCAA website after every game.  You can get stats for every game, every year, an entire career.

http://stats.ncaa.org/teams/24690

Get on that site and play around.

Just put your stats on the website.... seriously...FFS

That said, thanks for that link. There are some inaccuracies, but good to account for those stats-hiders in Norman, Seattle, Columbia, etc.
upontop

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns

Just put your stats on the website.... seriously...FFS

That said, thanks for that link. There are some inaccuracies, but good for those stats-hiders in Norman, Seattle, Columbia, etc.


Like I said in an earlier post, they are listed on the Sooner Sports website, see the link I posted earlier. That is available for every game
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #25 
Scrolling 36 pages .... a peeve... probably more sour than I should be
ChinMusic

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LandLottery
I was a bit confused by the hidden remark.  Are you not aware that every stat for every player in the NCAA and every team is entered on the  NCAA website after every game.  You can get stats for every game, every year, an entire career.

http://stats.ncaa.org/teams/24690

Get on that site and play around.


+1

I look at all the teams I follow nearly every week.
HenryLouisAaron

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Reply with quote  #27 
<< Paige Lowary emerged in a role that allowed her talents to thrive.  We could see her become stronger in each appearance.  I saw the pitchers of the year in the final series against Florida... Kelly Barnhill wasn't included. >> (surfinusa)

I got a good laugh out of your Barnhill comment.
But Kelly did have a truly awesome NCAA season in 2017. Her stats were outlandish... until she came up against OK. It will be interesting to see what she does in the 2018 NCAA season. If she gets better... that will really be something.

The only thing that was more outlandish than Barnhill's pitching stats this past season... 
was how they (the NCAA powers that be) let her accomplish them "illegally".
outofzone

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Reply with quote  #28 
Thank you for that last line. 

Any chance Barnhill & Carlson will be required to follow the rules in 2018? 
HenryLouisAaron

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Reply with quote  #29 
<< IMHO, the only way the Sooners don't repeat is if they forget their forged identity of being a gritty, "whatever it takes" team or mess up or if key injuries take away vital weapons.  Florida was in the same class of team as the Sooners, but I noticed a significant drop-off after that for WCWS teams in terms of athleticism, talent and focus.  

The Championship is there to win for the Sooners. They can only beat themselves not to repeat. >> (surfinusa)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

<< Patty is filling the stable with pedigreed fillies.  She told one recruit that she "only recruits the elite of the elite" to come to OU.  The architect for the new softball complex expansion had better allow for a whole lot space for the trophy case.  There will be plenty of brass that the Sooners will bring home in the future. >> (surfinuas)

*************************************

I love the Sooners and will be rooting for them.
But you really should be a bit more careful about counting your chickens before... 

It is NEVER easy to win the WCWS - nor is it even easy to just get there. 
I think they probably have the best chance of all the teams... but would you really take them over the field..?
So many things can happen along the way.
And I think it's a bit too much to to say... they can ONLY beat themselves. 
Some other team may emerge as a world beater.
And many times - a team that is not as talented - just happens to get really hot at the right time. Oklahoma could end up on the wrong end of that situation one of these years. 

I say just enjoy the season as it unfolds - and let's see how great this team might be. 
HenryLouisAaron

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Reply with quote  #30 
<< Sure, any pitcher can have a teams' number one game, but I don't think any team can sweep the Sooners and few can hold them scoreless. >> (surfinusa)

The Sooners were beaten in back to back games in the 2017 season with Sierra Hyland in the circle for Cal Poly - by scores of 3-1 and 3-1. Oklahoma scored first by taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning in both games. In the first game, Sydney Romero's HR in the top of the first was the only hit they would get for the entire game. In the second game, Hyland gave up a SF to Aviu after Clifton doubled and Romero singled in the top of the first. Hyland then spread out 4 other Sooner singles to hold them scoreless over the last six innings. 

So... Sierra Hyland had their number for two games, back to back... and the Sooners were swept by Cal Poly. 
And while Hyland is a pretty darn good pitcher... They will likely face even better pitchers than her over the course of the 2018 season. 
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