NORMAN – Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso has announced the addition of four student-athletes that have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Oklahoma softball program in the fall of 2017.
Signing NLIs with the Sooners are Jocelyn Alo (Hauula, Hawaii), Lynnsie Elam (Chickasha, Okla.), Eliyah Flores (Grand Terrace, Calif.) and Alexa Schultz (Los Alamitos, Calif.).
“This class, as a whole, has a lot of power,” Gasso said. “They can hit the ball hard, and they’re very strong. This class has a lot of passion when they play, and it’s very enjoyable to watch them because you can tell they love what they’re doing.
“Each one of these athletes have been playing for championships so they have the pedigree of what it takes to win championships, which is very important for our classes to come in and get acclimated quickly as freshmen. When they have that experience, usually they can step right in and feel comfortable.”
A native of Hauula, Hawaii, Jocelyn Alo (pronounced like “aloe”) currently attends James Campbell High School where she recently led her team to a state championship, going 2-3 with a home run and four runs batted in during the title game to be named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Also was named Gatorade’s State High School Player of the Year after hitting .612 with eight homers, 30 RBI and 13 runs scored during her senior season. A two-sport athlete, Alo was also crowned the girls state champion in wrestling at 184 pounds.
She has spent the past five seasons playing for the OC Batbusters in Anaheim, Calif., under the direction of Mike Stith. This summer, Alo batted .597 with nine homers and helped guide her team to the USSSA 18U Tournament Championship.
“Jocelyn was a late addition and I’m really pleased we found each other; she comes from a very strong line of athletes,” Gasso said. “I’m so excited about getting her here where we can work with her daily. I think she is going to be a pitcher’s nightmare. I think she has the ability to swing it like Lauren Chamberlain after she’s had training.
“I know JT can’t wait to get started with her. I think she’s going to be a difference maker. She can work behind the plate, she’s played first and can play the outfield. But with her bat, she’s going to find a place.”
Lynnsie Elam is a senior at Chickasha High School where she has earned four letters in softball, leading her team to four district championships, three regional titles and a pair of state championships as a sophomore and junior. As a senior, Elam hit .491 with five home runs, 44 runs scored, 50 runs batted in and 23 stolen bases en route to earning named all-district, all-region and all-state honors. In addition, she was named All-District Catcher of the Year as a freshman and All-District Offensive Player of the Year during her sophomore season.
Elam spent the past summer playing for the Corona Angels under Marty Tyson in Corona, Calif.
“Lynnsie is someone that has been to plenty of our camps so we’ve grown up with her,” Gasso said. “Without question she’s the best catcher in Oklahoma and one of the best I’ve seen in the country in the 2017 class. She reminds me a little bit of former Sooner Lindsey Vandever. She’s got a really quick and active arm. She’s very athletic and lively behind the plate.
“She’s really a complete player because she can hit. She won two consecutive state championships where she delivered the walk-off hit, so she’s been in those championship situations and she’s come through in the clutch.”
A native of Grand Terrace, Calif., Eliyah (uh-LEE-uh) Flores has been named MVP of the Sunkist League and chosen as all-area and all-county each of the last three seasons at Grand Terrace High School. She was chosen for the All-CIF Southern First Team as a junior after hitting .495 with 41 runs scored, eight homers, 27 RBI and 11 stolen bases. Flores helped guide her team to a CIF Southern Section title in 2016 after finishing runner-up in 2016.
On the travel ball circuit, Flores has played for Tony Rico’s Firecrackers out of Huntington Beach, Calif., for the past three seasons. This summer, her squad won the 2016 PGF National 18U Championship.
“Eliyah is a player that I think Sooner fans are going to love to watch because she’s so in-tuned with the game,” Gasso said. “I like her versatility and her athleticism. She plays on one of the best travel ball teams in the country and won the PGF Championship with Tony Rico’s Firecrackers. She’s surrounded with other outstanding athletes, so I think it’s really elevated her game and she’s been doing that since she’s been young.
“She’s usually been the youngest kid on the team, so she’s grown up in that environment and it shows. She’s won the CIF championships, so she knows how to win titles. She would be one of your favorite players to watch because of her style of play. It’s very passionate.”
Alexa Schultz attends Los Alamitos High School in Los Alamitos, Calif., earning three letters for the Griffins. As a junior, Schultz posted a .301 batting average with six home runs, four stolen bases, 27 runs batted in and 19 runs scored while guiding her team to the 2016 CIF-SS Division I Semifinals. For her efforts, she was named to the All-Sunset League First Team in 2016 and Second Team in 2015 while helping team to league championships each year.
She has spent the past two seasons playing travel ball for the Ohana Tigers under David Schultz in Cerritos, Calif. In 2016, she hit .365 with 21 runs scored, 19 runs batted in, three home runs, three stolen bases and perfect fielding percentage of 1.000.
“I think Alexa is going to be another nightmare for pitchers because she never gets cheated,” Gasso said. “She plays for her dad during travel ball, and we have always seemed to have success when bringing those types of players into our program. She’s going to be an extremely potent player offensively and a complete player overall with her defense. She does not let things fall in the outfield; anything hit in her direction, she’ll make the play.”