John Hoover

John E. Hoover: After winning another title, Patty Gasso, thinking of her dad, is overcome with tears

John E. Hoover: After winning another title, Patty Gasso, thinking of her dad, is overcome with tears

After the Sooners won their second straight softball national championship by beating Florida 5-4 on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, OU coach Patty Gasso became emotional thinking about her dad, who died in February.

After her Oklahoma Sooners brought home the program’s fourth national championship — and the school’s fourth national title this spring — softball coach Patty Gasso was overcome with tears.

As she embraced her assistant coaches during the player celebration following OU’s 5-4 victory over Florida in the championship series, Gasso paused, bent over, covered her face and sobbed. She also cried while hugging her son, OU assistant J.T. Gasso.

“I lost my dad in February,” an emotional Gasso told ESPN’s Holly Rowe in a tearful postgame interview. “I just tried to stay close to the team. We went through struggles. I went through struggles. To be here right now is an unbelievable blessing.

“And he would be here. It was hard. I held it in. I love these guys. They fought hard for me, for our program. I can not believe that we’ve done this.”

The Sooners, 61-9 overall and undefeated in the College World Series — including Monday’s epic 17-inning victory over the top-ranked Gators at Oklahoma City’s Hall of Fame Stadium — won their 11th consecutive game, 17 of their last 18 and 38 of their last 40. They got hot after starting the season 23-7.

“They (have a) very powerful belief in each other,” Gasso said. “You could feel it. You could see it. They felt like they wasted the first part of the season. They wanted to make up for lost time.

“I’m telling you, that we’re standing here right now is just unbelievable. So, quite a blessing that they used their platform correctly and they believe in each other. It’s a phenomenal group — one I’ll never forget.”

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Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “Further Review with Hoover & Rew” and can be heard every weekday on The Franchise in Tulsa from noon to 3 p.m. with co-host Lauren Rew. In Oklahoma City, catch him Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10:25 and every Friday afternoon at 4:05. Listen at fm107.7 in OKC, fm107.9/am1270 in Tulsa, on The Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page. Visit his personal page at johnehoover.com.

John Hoover

Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

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