Gasso, Alo Preview 2022 Season – University of Oklahoma – Soonersports.com

NORMAN — Oklahoma softball head coach Patty Gasso and redshirt senior Jocelyn Alo met with the media Thursday to preview the Sooners’ 2022 season set to begin Feb. 10.
Read some of the highlights below and watch the full press conferences above or here.
The 2022 team returns 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Jocelyn Alo, along with four other All-Americans in Jayda Coleman, 2021 NFCA Freshman of the Year Tiare JenningsKinzie Hansen and Grace Lyons.
The Sooners were recently voted as the unanimous preseason No. 1 team in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Preseason Top 25. This marks the third time in program history that the Sooners enter the season as the top-ranked team, joining the 2017 and ’18 squads. Additionally, it is the 15th straight season and 18th in the 20-year history of the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll that Oklahoma is ranked in the preseason top 10.
OU was also selected as the Big 12 preseason favorite, marking the 10th straight year and 13th in the last 14 seasons that OU has topped the conference’s preseason poll.
The Sooners open the 2022 season Feb. 10 in Santa Barbara, Calif., vs. UC-Santa Barbara.
Lead, Gasso Presser_use

Opening statement:
“We’re very excited to get going. It’s going to be a challenging season, I know that, because of what we accomplished last year. We’re really working through what those challenges might be, but we have a very strong team in all phases. We’re ready to represent Oklahoma the way we always do, and play hard. We’re ready to go, we’re putting on the finishing touches right now before we start the season.”
On motivating the team after winning a national title:
“It’s interesting because I think different teams approach the next season differently. Once you win it, you have two choices of thought, ‘I want it, I got it, it’ll never go away, I’ll have it forever and I’m good’ or ‘That tasted so well, that was such a wow factor in my world that I want more’. The taste of winning it, being called the best, is something that is almost like a drug. You want more. Some players feel one way, and some players feel the other. That is a bit concerning. The whole goal here from my side, is what would I feel like if a coach is telling me this and I’m an athlete. If my coach told me ‘you could be the greatest softball team of all time’, that would make me want to play hard. That would get me fired up. Every player is different. I’m anxious to see what this (the team) is going to look like when we put it out there because then I can really decipher where we’re at. Right now, we’re grinding and working really hard to get prepared for the start.”
On reloading in the circle and transfer portal additions:
“It might be unique, but it’s extremely important. We knew pitching was something we had to have. With such a loaded team of great hitters, great defenders and great athletes, you need to have a pitching staff that can sustain and hold the fort down if your offense isn’t going. Or an offense that can help a pitching staff. I like what we have on the mound right now.
“I think the nation will get to know Jordyn Bahl. That name will be a name that they’re familiar with. You’ll really enjoy her style, she’s really competitive and it’s very engaging. It’s like you can get lost in watching her pitch at times. She’s very calculated and very smart for a freshman.
“Then we bring in Hope (Trautwein) from North Texas, who was their lead pitcher. She’s here working under (associate head coach and pitching coach) Jennifer Rocha and really getting better and throwing harder, and really learning so much about the game. I think Nicole May, what she experienced last year, some of it good some of it not-so-good. But the not-so-good experiences is what has changed her. I think she’s going to be a powerhouse here. Macy McAdoo is throwing much better. I’m really excited about this pitching staff. And that is going to be a key to this team, as it was last year.
Alyssa Brito adds some experience and depth to the infield. The portal has been good to many teams, we don’t try to live off of it. We try to supplement off what we have and I think we’ve done a good job with that.”
On the hitters versus the pitchers:
“They (the hitters) have faced some tougher pitching this fall than they did last fall. It is a complete turnaround. Last fall, this offense was demoralizing, literally demoralizing, our pitching staff. This year, our pitchers are handling our hitters. And that’s good news for us. It’s not fun for our hitters, but it should be good news for them because they’re facing some of the best pitchers in the country right now every day. The matchups is something that I think we should charge attendance for because I think people would come out to want to watch Jordy Bahl face Jocelyn Alo and Jordy face Tiare Jennings and Hope facing some of these big hitters as well and Nicole May and so on. There are some offensive and pitching battles going on. And we we really talk about iron sharpens iron. I know a lot of programs use that. But we’re really seeing that and trying to make sure that our hitters understand that they are still good hitters, although they’re not having the outcomes that they did last fall, they are still good hitters, and they’re going to be even better because of what they’re facing. And they’re really having to think and strategize or having to put more into their offense than they did last fall. So we’re not hitting 19 home runs in a fall contest. The scores are now like 2-1, 3-1, 3-2. So it’s it’s quite different but it’s a good feeling for us as coaches because we know we’ve got a very good pitching staff. And we also know that we have very good hitters, although they don’t feel that maybe right now, we know that it’s still there. It hasn’t gone anywhere.”
On the momentum around Love’s Field:
“I’ve already seen a big rally from our own alumni who have come forward and said, ‘Hey, we want to host our own camp and all the proceeds from this camp with all of our alums coming together will go towards the stadium project’. I feel a big rally cry … Now we have the money, now we’re ready to put a shovel in the ground here pretty quickly and that has been the most realistic time I’ve ever felt like this is real. This is really going to happen. And I think the timing of it as well. You get the announcement and then you get the the announcement of us going to the SEC, all the timing lines up perfectly to what we need and when we need it. I also think to be honest, the way we won the World Series last year with literally our back against the wall, and it being one of the best World Series ever, because every single game was played, you had two teams with us and Florida State, both losing our first games and having to go all the way through. So every game literally was played to everyone got the most amount of softball they could ever want out of that World Series. And it was exciting, and it was captivating. That always brings momentum as well. So where our sport is going, I hope that it pays off for other programs like it’s paying off for us.”
Lead, Alo Presser

On advice to underclassmen:
“Sometimes I just tell them not to get caught up in what the media says, honestly. I know I fell into that trap a little bit. But thankfully, I was able to pull myself out of that. So I just tell them just to stay within yourself and continue to do what it is that you do and don’t get so caught up in what other people have to say.”
On her goals in 2022:
“Obviously, I want to win again. It’d be nice to be the last team standing. Once more, I think you guys kind of know about the other record going on. But honestly, I’m just here to enjoy my last year and I was kind of talking with my dad about it. I was just saying how I want to enjoy every moment and just be present in every moment. And Coach Gasso said like you won’t ever get this again. And I really won’t ever get this again. Like I won’t get to grind the same way that they pushed me to, I won’t get to play for these coaches again, I won’t get to play with this team again, I won’t get to wear ‘Sooners’ across my chest again. So I’m just kind of here to enjoy every moment.”
On closing in on the NCAA career home run record:
“I’m not really thinking about it. Honestly, I know it’ll come so I’m just kind of, like I said, enjoying every moment that I have and if it comes it comes, if it doesn’t it doesn’t, but I know it’ll come so I’m not like pressed about or nothing but like I said I just want to win another (national title).”
On coaching up the hitters:
“I tell the girls all the time if you have any questions, just ask me because I’m a pretty upfront person. Like, I’ll tell you what it is, if you need help, I’ll give you suggestions here and there. I really do take a lot of pride in my hitting and I watch a lot of film on myself. I watch a lot of film on other people, I watch how pitchers pitch, I watch how hitters hit. There’s a lot that goes into it. ‘m just here to offer any knowledge that I have. They always know that I’m always a call away even if I’m not here. So I’m always here to help them.”
Season ticket renewals for the 2022 season are available now at SoonerSports.com. A limited quantity of single-game tickets for home games will go on sale Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. CT.
For any additional questions about 2022 OU softball tickets, please contact the OU Athletics Ticket Office during normal business hours – Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 800-456-4668 or via email at OUTickets@ou.edu.
For updates and more information on Oklahoma softball, follow the Sooners on Twitter and Instagram (@OU_Softball) and like Oklahoma Softball on Facebook.
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