July 1, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. - A third of the way through the National Pro Fastpitch Season, three members of the 2013 University of Oklahoma softball senior class have seen valuable playing time in their rookie seasons.
|Michelle Gascoigne - Chicago Bandits|
Michelle Gascoigne and the Chicago Bandits currently sit atop the standings with a 12-3 record. One of five pitchers on the roster, Gascoigne has appeared in five games this season with a pair of starts. She is 2-0 on the year with a 2.62 earned run average. She has struck out 14 and walked two while giving up 17 hits and eight runs - seven earned - in 18.2 innings pitched.
Drafted seventh overall back in April's NPF Draft, Gascoigne made her league debut on June 8 against the Akron Racers by recording 1.2 innings of work. She made the first start of her career on June 14 and picked up the win behind a career-high six strikeouts as the Bandits beat the New York/New Jersey Comets, 9-6.
After a pair of two-inning relief efforts in the series against the USSSA Pride, June 20-23, Gascoigne made her second career start on June 27 against Akron. In a complete-game effort, the Sooners' all-time leader in win percentage allowed three runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts to get the win.
One of two pitchers with an undefeated record in the league, Gascoigne ranks fourth in the NPF with a 1.02 WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched) and is sixth with a .236 opponents' batting average.
|Jessica Shults - USSSA Pride|
Sitting second in the standings with an 11-5 record are Jessica Shults and the USSSA Pride. Shults has appeared in nine of the team's games this year and is hitting .231 (3-13) with a solo home run and two walks drawn. She holds a .333 on-base percentage and .462 slugging percentage, good for a .795 OPS (one-base plus slugging percentage).
Shults made her NPF debut on June 11 against the Comets. In her next game against the Racers, Shults, who finished as the Big 12's all-time home runs leader, connected on the first homer of her professional career with a solo blast. Behind the plate Shults has been perfect in 17 fielding chances, including one assist.
She appeared in each of the four games this past weekend against Akron, recording an at-bat in each contest and singling in the first and final games of the series.
|Brianna Turang - Akron Racers|
Brianna Turang has played in 11 of 15 games for the Akron Racers, who are in third place with a 6-9 record. Turang ranks third on the team with a .333 batting average, leads the squad in hits (13) and is tied for the team lead in runs (10) and doubles (2). In addition to driving in three runs and walking twice this season, Turang has a .366 OBP and .385 slugging mark for a .751 OPS.
Turang saw her first game action on June 13 by going 1-4 with a run scored against USSSA. After going just 1-10 in her next three games, Turang busted out against the Comets on June 19 by going 4-5 with three runs scored, two RBI and hitting a pair of doubles.
In a three-game stretch from June 22-29, Turang recorded three consecutive two-hit games. She was 2-4 with a run scored against New York/New Jersey, then followed that by going 2-2 with a run and RBI vs. Chicago before finishing the stretch with a 2-3 day against the Bandits with a pair of runs scored.