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Patty Gasso podcast
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Run Rule
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 Posted: Sat Nov 21st, 2020 07:09 pm

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https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/james-with-patty-gasso-11-19-20/id720839352?i=1000499482091

OUBeliever56
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 Posted: Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 02:34 pm

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Big shout out to Run Rule for posting the interview with Coach Gasso on the James Hale show.

It is worth the time for any Sooner softball fan to listen to the podcast.

I will have some thoughts about what was said soon.

Boomer Sooner!

OUBeliever56
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 Posted: Mon Nov 23rd, 2020 02:51 am

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Here are my thoughts about the info covered in the interview.

Headlines:
1) Juarez - Giselle Juarez IS throwing in the bullpen at ‘full’ speed for two weeks. It seemed that the coaching staff did not want Juarez to pitch to live hitters in the fall. It was mentioned that the Ms. Juarez is throwing 66 mph or so with NO PAIN. This is great news for all Sooner softball fans. Mr. Hale thought that Juarez threw a bit harder than that, but Coach Gasso commented that it was more her movement and her subtle change of speeds that is what is important more than velocity. I would agree with that about the reasons for Juarez’s success. It is based upon movement and subtle change of speeds. It is always better to throw as hard as you can, but 66 is certainly hard enough and the velocity should increase as she throws more in her rehab.

2) 2021 Spring Schedule – While final details are not worked out yet, it seems likely that the schedule will not be a normal spring schedule. Coach Gasso is on the Big 12 scheduling committee. She said that for now, the committee is working hard to finish the details for the basketball season before they finalize the softball schedule. She says that there a Plans A, B, C at least. She shared that the Big 10 has decided to play conference game only. It looks like they play a 24 -game schedule within the Big 10 to me.

She further said that the Big 12, SEC and the ACC want to play the conference games plus maybe 3 tournament weekends before the conference season. That would be better but not the normal 5 or 6 weekends before the conference season starts.

My comment: With only 7 teams in the Big 12 conference the off-weekend within the conference schedule is a question mark also. I think it would also be a good idea for the Big 12 to play maybe 4 games each weekend instead of the normal 3, since the schedule will be reduced. There are lots of details to be worked out but at least it sounds like there are plans being made to play in the spring.

3) Traveling Roster size for the Spring – Coach Gasso mentioned the number could be 20, 22 or maybe 23 for traveling teams. She commented that this has been a strong motivator for the team to work harder and to compete harder to be one of the group that will travel. The players want to travel, therefore they are working harder. With a roster size of 25 players at this time, that means as many 5 players may not travel.

4) Coach Gasso and Mr. Hale talked about the ‘hiring’ of Erin Arevalo as the new Volunteer Assistant Coach. It sounded like Ms. Arevalo gave up a paying coaching position at Indiana State to come to OU and coach on a non-salaried coaching position to work with an elite big-time college program. Coach Gasso seemed to be very pleased with her addition to the staff and that she is coaching this year for the Sooners. Coach Gasso said that her experience and knowledge would be very helpful to the Sooners.
- - - -

Current Player Notes and Information:
The first thing that was discussed was the work ethic and the competition that was present in the fall for the Sooner softball squad. Due to that, Coach Gasso said that she could divide the team and play a series of highly competitive games. She said that she felt that the split squads could probably each be a Top 15 team. I am not sure about that actually but both split squads could finish 3rd (I should not have said 4th) in the Big 12 in 2021. Something that was surprising that she said later in the conversation was that the team and coaches felt that last spring in 2020 that the team was not that good of a team. She said that despite the team being 20-4 and highly ranked. I agree that they needed to play better infield defense against the bunt, but besides that a depth shortage as well as a thin pitching staff, they were a pretty good team. But it is interesting that they thought differently. Maybe that is what has created the desire to compete and make the 2021 version of the Sooners even better.

Coach Gasso also stated that the team has been COVID-free since August. That is something that speaks to the teams choices both on and off the field.

The first disclosure was about Tiare Jennings. Coach Gasso basically said that she has earned to start on the infield for the Sooners. So now, where does she start? Both Coach Gasso and Mr. Hale said that Lyons is about as good as you can get and that even though Jennings is a SS, Jennings will not start at SS. I think she will start at either 2B or 3B. I like her better at 2B simply due to a couple of plays she made while playing 2B in the scrimmages. But I think the Sooners now and in the future will have several very good options at 2B. So for now, I am thinking that Jennings starts at 3B. If that is true, we may get to see if she can unseat Romero as the all-time Sooner at 3B.

Jayda Coleman was discussed next. Yes, the same is true about her that it was about Jennings, Lyons is still playing SS. Coach Gasso talked about 1B for Coleman. Mr. Hale thinks that is a very good idea. With her quickness and ability she could be a very strong defensive player at first base. Coach Gasso also mentioned the OF is a great possibility for Coleman. At some point she said, “That is our thinking right now”. I could not tell if she was talking about 1B or the OF. Either option has it positives for the team. I think she will play both positions depending on lineup based upon the opposing pitcher.

That leads to comments about Rylie Boone and Nicole Mendes. Mr. Hale’s comment was that an outfield with Boone, Mendes and Coleman would be the best defensive outfield ‘ever’ for the Sooners. I think that Coach Gasso just laughed softly and said something about depth and having tough decisions to make. While I do not think that will be the starting outfield 95% of the time, it certainly could be the starters 25% -35% of the time.

Taylon Snow was the next up to be discussed. Snow has been working out in the weight room with Jocelyn Alo this fall. Coach Gasso said that Snow has added a great deal of strength to her legs. Most people say that power-hitting is more about your legs and hips that anything else. Maybe this is where Snow’s surprising power came from this fall. If so, I hope she finds a gym during the holiday break and returns this spring ready to hit the ball even harder.

Coach Gasso said that Jana Johns has settled in and is comfortable with the team and that the team was comfortable with her. I think a pretty good sign about Johns was given at the last scrimmage this fall. This is when Johns played first base while an alumni of OU played third base the entire game. I think that was Johns getting used to playing first base for the Sooners.

That caused Kinzie Hansen to be discussed and that she became a strong 1B last spring. Before Mr. Hale could ask about how Coleman and Hansen would share first base, Coach Gasso talked about how good the competition at Catcher was between Lynnsie Elam and Hansen was. Again, Coach Gasso talked about the good problems she had trying to figure out the lineup for the Sooners.

Coach Gasso then talked about the teams versatility and depth and how that the lineup will likely be determined by the type of pitcher that is pitching against the Sooners rather than anything else. She said that players who start might not always finish the game and that players that did not start might finish the game. It was very similar to what JT Gasso said recently talking to Chris Plank.

There was not a lot of talk about the pitchers but Coach Gasso did say that Nicole May impressed with her poise and calmness in the circle. She said that May finished the fall very strong. Coach Gasso also mentioned that Shannon Saile had a good fall and that she finished strong also. Mr. Hale asked about Alanna Thiede and that she had some good outings in the fall and Coach Gasso said that the other pitchers all had good moments in the fall and that they had some difficulties as well. She also talked about a pitching by committee philosophy once again with the staff. She has talked about this before, but it really has been too evident besides a few games last spring.

This part of the discussion ended with a comment about the 2021 version of the Sooners by Coach Gasso where she expressed that the Sooners in 2021 could be as good as the Sooners have ever been. She said that the team would be driven by the offense, defense and the athletic ability of the team, she said that the pitching would have to step up to fully realize that potential but she thought that would happen. That is very encouraging to hear about the upcoming Sooners.

The interview ended with a comment about that many other D1 teams, probably the Top 15-20 teams are in the same over-loaded boat as far as talent goes. Each of the coaches are facing the same tough decisions that Coach Gasso is facing. She seems to enjoy the challenge. She also said that the next season should be as good as softball can get at the D1 level and that it should be great fun to watch and be part of.
- - - - -

Future:
There was a good segment about the 2021 recruiting class that was just announced. That has been covered pretty well elsewhere but Coach Gasso said that the 7 recruits are very versatile and very talented as the #1 recruiting class in D softball indicates. She did say a couple very interesting things about Jordy (Jordyn) Bahl. The first was that she is throwing at that magical 70 mph speed (I thought she threw 66-67 not 70) and that she should get stronger as she matures. Coach Gasso called her special which is a new word to describe Bahl. This class is a very special, deep class. The class is probably overall the best group to join the Sooners since the early 20-teens. Coach Gasso talked quite-a-bit about how good the R-L balance of hitters would be with this class and the Sooner-team when they join the team.
- - - -

Closing:
This was a good interview about the Sooners and yet players Jocelyn Alo, Grace Lyons, Grace Green were Nicole Mendes were barely mentioned. Let that sink in for a few moments as the smile on your face starts to form. Get ready for the fun!

Boomer Sooner!

If anyone has anything to add, or comment on, please do!

Last edited on Tue Nov 24th, 2020 10:15 pm by OUBeliever56

Run Rule
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 Posted: Mon Nov 23rd, 2020 03:32 am

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Thanks so much for a Great write up and summary!

Last edited on Mon Nov 23rd, 2020 03:39 am by Run Rule

Refriedbeans
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 Posted: Mon Nov 23rd, 2020 02:43 pm

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Dittos!

RahOKU
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 Posted: Mon Nov 23rd, 2020 05:07 pm

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Thanks! You're the best!

Item #1 on Juarez is especially great news.

Last edited on Mon Nov 23rd, 2020 05:08 pm by RahOKU

cclift38
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 Posted: Tue Nov 24th, 2020 02:12 pm

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Its a good interview. Patty is good about giving information but not still leaving you wondering. I really, truly believe she doesn't know what her starting lineup will be. I also believe her when she says it will be matchup based. If there is a hard throwing righty pitcher she could go with a left handed lineup and vice versa when a left handed pitcher on the mound.

If memory serves me correct she called Jennings and Coleman superstars. The question is where do they play. The good thing is both are versatile and can play anywhere. Coleman at 1st base does make you wonder what happens to Hansen if she doesn't catch. Is there a possibility Hansen and Elam could rotate behind the plate and possibly see some DP duties? That would be a good way of keeping your catchers fresh. Another question is where does Grace Green fit in all of this? It seems there are 12 players if not 13(position players) on the roster that I feel that start for any other team in the country except maybe UCLA. I feel UCLA and OU have the most talented rosters.

Very good news on Juarez. I feel during the season this team is going to destroy a lot of teams. But come post season time we know it comes down to pitching. Juarez is the proven veteran ace. With her the staff comes together with May and Saile as your top 3, and others that can be inning eaters.

So 21 conference games and 3 tournaments with maybe 5 games played each. Your talking about 36 regular season games. With big 12 tournament, regionals and super regionals, World series, assuming OU can make all, they could get in about 50 games. That's not that far off a regular season. Its about like a season minus the start of season West coast trip. This will be a fun team to watch. Looking forward to it.

Last edited on Tue Nov 24th, 2020 02:14 pm by cclift38

OUBeliever56
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 Posted: Tue Nov 24th, 2020 03:20 pm

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Potential Game Count (by my count):

Preseason - 3 weekends of 4 games per weekend (3 Teams playing each twice.) OR 3 weekends of 5 games each (4 teams with 2 DH and 1 single)

Total 12 to 15 games.

Big 12 - 7 teams with 3 per weekend (6 series)

Total 18 games
* Something needs to be scheduled for the 'off weekend' within the Big 12 schedule which would be 3 more games. *

Big 12 Tourney - 2 to 6 games

Regional Tourney - 2 to 5 games

Super Regionals - 2 or 3 games

WS - 2 to 8 games

Season Totals - 41 min to 55 max


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