June 8, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma pitcher Michelle Gascoigne has signed a contract with the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch League, it was announced Saturday. Her signing marks the second in as many days for an OU senior as catcher Jessica Shults agreed to terms with the USSSA Pride on Friday.
"I'm excited to join the Bandits family," Gascoigne said. "It's a great organization, and I am thankful to be a part of it. I look forward to contributing to this great pitching staff."
Gascoigne, chosen by Chicago with the seventh overall pick in the April 1 NPF Draft, ended her Oklahoma career on Tuesday night by pitching the team to its second national championship in program history. The Benicia, Calif., native struck out 12 in a three-hit shutout in game two against Tennessee in the Championship Series of the 2013 Women's College World Series.
She finished the year as one of 10 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and led the nation with a 0.88 earned run average, the lowest mark by any pitcher since 2009. Gascoigne was 19-3 with 210 strikeouts and just 29 walks in 136.0 innings pitched.
"We're thrilled about the signing of Michelle," Chicago General Manager Aaron M. Moore said. "She will be a very important piece to our pitching rotation. She brings a toughness from her time at Oklahoma and a winning mentality coming from the 2013 WCWS champions."
Gascoigne ended her career with a school-record winning percentage of .879 (51-7) and finished sixth in program annals in strikeouts (528), ninth in appearances (104) and 10th in games started (62), wins (51) and shutouts (17).