OKLAHOMA CITY —
For Gascoigne, Ricketts, catcher Jessica Shults and outfielder Brianna Turang, the title winning game was their last one for the Sooners program. That thought was even enough to bring a few tears during the joyous occasion. But, it was not at the level of pain the players felt when they reached this same stage last year, only to lose at the hands of Alabama.
"It definitely gave us one of the most painful feelings we have ever felt, Ricketts said. "That just gave us so much drive and determination to get back to this moment. We knew we were the favorite all year, and it's cool that we weren't able to feel any of that pressure, because we were able to just go out there and have fun with each other."
Gasso said her decision to leave Ricketts off the mound was based on her pitching 188 times on Monday night and her decision to support Gascoigne's start.
"Michelle [Gascoigne] has been such a huge part of getting our team to this point," she said. "To give her this opportunity was a big moment for her. Keilani has had a ton of big moments, and the fact she was wanting to share this with Michelle probably helped her get on the mound and say 'I've got this.' It couldn't have been on a bigger stage."