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Thursday, May 30, 2013
Fun's over, focus shifts to game time

By Michelle Gascoigne

Oklahoma Softball
The Sooners were proud to see Keilani Ricketts be named player of the year for the second straight year.


Sooner softball is officially in OKC! A reporter from OU asked me Wednesday if it ever gets old pulling into ASA Hall of Fame Stadium for the first time of each Women's College World Series, and I said no! For the third year in a row I got goose bumps pulling into that stadium -- it could easily be described as Disneyland for softball players. I can't believe how lucky I am to be at my third World Series in four years.

Healing Heartland
Coach Patty Grasso surprised her players with tickets to the "Healing in the Heartland" benefit concert for victims of the Moore, Okla., tornado.

Tuesday, we went up to the city from Norman to go to the World Series reception. All the teams get together to eat, mingle, take pictures and to be formally welcomed to the Women's College World Series. During the presentation, the award for player of the year is announced. My team had pretty good odds, as both Keilani Ricketts and Lauren Chamberlain were top three finalists along with Tennessee's Raven Chavanne.

All of these athletes had tremendous years and have contributed greatly to their team's success. It was pretty cool to hear Keilani's name be called as winner for the second year in a row and to watch history be made as she is only the third player to win it more than once in her career. We are all so proud of her!

Wednesday at the stadium we filmed intros for ESPN, talked with the analysts and had our practice time on the field. Sadly, our practice got cut short after hitting because of bad weather and lightning in the area.

Later that night, Coach Gasso had a huge surprise for us -- tickets to go to the "Healing in the Heartland" benefit concert in Oklahoma City. This concert was something we had been talking about all week but knew it was sold out. We were so excited to get a chance to go watch amazing artists like Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Usher, Reba McEntire, etc., all raise money for our state that is still in turmoil.

After all of the events the past couple of days, today is all about one thing now, Sooner softball! We are ready to start playing again and to put it all out on the field. We are the last game of the day, so it is kind of nice to watch some games in our hotel room while we get ready and prepare. Tune in to ESPN2 9:30 p.m. ET for our battle against Michigan. Boomer Sooner.