Being on this team is my biggest blessing

Courtesy of John Williamson

Michelle Gascoigne and her Oklahoma teammates are excited for their last Big 12 home series; Friday is sold out.

Hello softball fans! My name is Michelle Gascoigne, and I am a senior pitcher for the Oklahoma Sooners. I grew up in a small town called Benicia in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, I consider Norman, Okla., my home as much as I do anywhere else.

A 26-hour drive to college will give a girl some time to be excited, scared and nervous, along with every other emotion that goes with starting something new. Little did I know then that my time here at the University of Oklahoma would pass in a blink of an eye and be filled with so many irreplaceable memories spent with teammates whom I consider to be my family.

Being one of the 21 strong, talented athletes who make up this season’s Sooner team is the biggest blessing I have ever received. My teammates not only impress me every day on the field by making incredible plays on defense or by hitting monster bombs over our scoreboard, but off the field as well. Whatever hidden talent you can think of, someone on my team has it.

There is hardly a dull moment, and I love it! For example, this past Sunday we completed one of the biggest challenges of our season. After winning two of three games at Texas, we had a long bus ride home. You might think that after playing three hard-fought games against a great team, there would be a lot of sleeping on the bus, but that was not the case with this team! A lot of you may be familiar with being so tired that everything seems funnier -- that happens to my teammates and me quite often, and it hit us head-on somewhere between Austin and Norman.

What started out as singing to our favorite songs on our laptops quickly escalated into a form of bus-ride karaoke. Whoever was feeling musically inclined marched to the front, put on her headphones to her favorite song and sang as loud as she could into the bus microphone.

Front row and VIP cheering us on was Coach Gasso, laughing as much as we were. I found the key was to have the music turned up as loud as you could so you didn’t have to hear yourself! My favorite performance was probably senior catcher Jessica Shults’ version of “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys, complete with some boy-band-style choreography.

There will be no bus ride this weekend, however, as we host our last Big 12 home series of the season against Iowa State. We are so excited to play in front of our fans at home. Friday’s game is already sold out!

As I said before, my time playing for the Oklahoma Sooners has flown by, and this season is no exception. We have three Big 12 series left before the postseason, and we are planning on taking everything one game at a time, as we have been up until now.

I hope you guys enjoyed getting a glimpse into the world of Sooner softball, and I will be updating you shortly. Boomer Sooner!