June 12, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. -- Freshman pitcher Jules Townsend is one of seven Sooner freshmen this season and all have the distinction of being natives of Oklahoma. A native of Tulsa, Townsend was a four-time all-conference player at Holland Hall Prep and three-time team most valuable player. She played travel ball with the Oklahoma Diamond Girls Gold team, including the 2011 squad that went 49-5.
This season, Townsend played in 10 games, mostly as a pinch hitter. She made her Sooners debut on March 9 against No. 5 Oregon and hit an RBI double in her first career plate appearance.
Q: How would you describe your experience this season?
JT: "It's been a journey, that's for sure. It's been really exciting and a long road, but a fast one at the same time. I love these girls to death; they're really nice. They make me better, and hopefully I make them better. All in all, it's been a great ride."
Q: What's the biggest difference you've noticed between high school and college softball?
JT: "It's so much faster. Up and down the lineup, everyone is just as good as you are and that's a big difference from high school. Those two things are probably the biggest differences.”
Q: How has the experience compared to what your expectations were going into the year?
JT: "I'd say they've met them. I had a feeling this was going to be a really good season, with the timing of everything."
Q: Growing up, what did you think of Oklahoma softball?
JT: "It's turned out to be a lot different than I thought it would be. I didn't realize the relationshps that the girls have with each other; that we are as close as we are. That's one thing that was a lot different than what I was thinking when I was looking up to them. Another thing was that I always thought they were so big. I thought everyone was gigantic and then I get up here and I'm taller than most of them so that was kind of a shock to me.”
Q: How did you feel when you got offered to come here?
JT: "To be honest, I wasn't too surprised because we [Jules and her twin sister, Paris] had been around the program all our lives. We knew that Coach Gasso was looking at us. She told us, she told our parents, since we were little. When she made the official offer I was kind of expecting it and was hoping for it, but wasn't super surprised. It was a great feeling, though. It was a relief when it finally came."
Q: Who have been some of the players that have helped mentor you?
JT: "Probably Lauren Chamberlain and Jessica Shults, mostly because of their attitude toward failure. When they fail, they don't let it get to them. They let it slide off their shoulders, and that's really something great to learn. I think that's the biggest thing I've learned from them. And, of course, sometimes they'll pull me aside and tell me small stuff of what to do next time or to stop doing something. It's just small stuff that really helps me."
Q: What have you seen as your role on the team this year?
JT: "I think like every freshman would say, more of our importance is cheering and supporting the team. Getting the team up and helping get momentum going. Also in practice, pushing the limit and getting teammates to think a little bit more. With intersquad practices, making our teammates better. I think that's been our role this year."
Q: What was it like when you got your first hit?
JT: "It kind of felt natural. I thought I was going to be really shocked. When I hit it, it felt really natural. I didn't feel like, 'What do I do now?' It felt like something I had been doing my whole life. It was exciting, though. After I got the hit it sunk in that it was my first one."