NORMAN — Oklahoma softball head coach Patty Gasso announced Wednesday the signing of eight exceptional student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on the first day of the 2018-19 early signing period.
Rylie Boone, Mackenzie Donihoo, Alycia Flores, Kinzie Hansen, Macy McAdoo, Alanna Nelson-Thiede, Raylee Pogue and Olivia Rains will all join the Sooners for the 2019-20 season.
“We are thrilled to have such a talented class of 2019 athletes joining the Sooner Family,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said. “Many of these future Sooners will make an immediate impact in our program and the ‘Championship Mindset’ will be as strong as ever. More than being exceptional student-athletes, each of these players fit our program and have all the characteristics we are looking for inside and out. This class is a new generation for this program, and I know we are in good hands for a long time.”
Rylie Boone / OF / L-L / Tulsa, Okla.
Rylie Boone recently finished her senior season at Owasso High School, recording a .514 batting average with 56 hits, 45 runs scored, 24 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and a pair of home runs to receive all-state and All-Region accolades. Boone earned All-Metro and All-District accolades in each of her four seasons, including being named the District Player of the Year three times. An Academic All-District selection, Boone led her team to back-to-back district and regional championships in 2017 and 2018. Boone was also a basketball standout, leading Owasso to a 2018 6A State Championship.
She has spent the past two summers playing for Texas Glory in McKinney, Texas, under Kevin Shelton. Boone is ranked No. 28 by Extra Innings Softball’s Elite 100 in the class of 2019 and No. 59 in Flo Softball’s 2019 Hot 100, finishing the 2018 summer with a .449 batting average, 65 hits, 44 runs, 32 RBIs, 21 stolen bases and a perfect fielding percentage.
“Rylie is one of the best outfielders in the country in this 2019 class,” Gasso said. “She’s a natural lefty who’s passion for the game is contagious. She is the complete package: she has speed to chase down any ball in the outfield, a gun for an arm and the ability to hit for power or beat out bunts in the infield.”
|THE BOONE FILE|
|PERSONAL: Daughter of Gayla Carnagey … Has one sibling, Trevor … Brother, Trevor, plays baseball at Oklahoma State … Chose Oklahoma over Oklahoma State, Kansas and Tulsa.
WHY OKLAHOMA? “I chose OU because it felt like home and they know how to win. I feel like I can reach my best potential there. I want to win a national championship.”
Mackenzie Donihoo / IF / R-R / Mustang, Okla.
Mackenzie Donihoo is OU’s second 2018 signee from the Sooner state, hailing from Mustang, Okla. An all-state selection in her senior year, Donihoo earned four all-region and three all-district honors during her high school career while leading Mustang High School to three straight regional championships and the 2017 6A State Championship. This fall, she registered a .380 batting average on 38 hits while tallying 39 runs, 17 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and a pair of home runs.
Donihoo has played travel ball with the Demarini Aces in Kansas City, Mo., for the past three years under Ryan Taylor. This summer, she recorded a .482 batting average on 59 hits, 53 runs, 45 RBIs, 26 stolen bases and 10 homers. She is ranked No. 50 by FloSoftball and No. 51 by Extra Innings Softball for the Class of 2019.
“Mackenzie is a very fast and athletic middle infielder who has a feisty style of play,” Gasso said. “She loves to compete and has power and speed from the right side of the plate. She will be a game changer for us, and we’re very excited to have her staying home and playing for the Sooners.”
|THE DONIHOO FILE|
|PERSONAL: Daughter of Brian and Gina Donihoo … Has two siblings, Taylor and Reese … Sister, Taylor, ran track at Southern Nazarene University … Chose Oklahoma over Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma State.
WHY OKLAHOMA? “I chose the University of Oklahoma because I know I will have to study, train and work harder than ever before, and that really excites me! I know this coaching staff can develop and push me into the best player I can be. I immediately felt at home when visiting campus and also witnessed the spiritual side of Coach Gasso and the program’s family atmosphere. Seeing this made for an easy decision to become a Sooner.”
Alycia Flores / OF / R-R / Colton, Calif.
The sister of current Sooner sophomore Eliyah Flores, Alycia Flores of Colton, Calif., is a product of Grand Terrace High School. During her junior spring, Flores batted .410 with 32 hits, 24 RBIs, 20 runs, five home runs and five stolen bases. A three-time all-league selection, the standout outfielder helped her team win the 2016 CIF Division 3 State Championship. She has also been placed on the principal’s honor roll each semester while earning scholar-athlete accolades.
In travel ball, Flores has spent the past two seasons with the Athletics under Mark Smith and Dave Mercado out of Temecula, Calif. She is rated as a top-100 recruit by both FloSoftball and Extra Innings.
“Alycia makes another Sooner ‘Sister Act’ with sister Eliyah currently a sophomore with the Sooners,” Gasso said. “Alycia is a right-handed hitter with extreme power. In the recruiting process, it is rare to see an athlete with so much power at the plate. Alycia will be a game-changer for us and a nightmare for opposing pitchers.”
|The Flores File|
|PERSONAL: Daughter of Jimmy and Darlene Flores … Has two sisters, Destinee and Eliyah … Eliyah is currently a sophomore on the OU softball team … Destinee played softall at Alabama State … Chose Oklahoma over Arizona State, Maryland, Arizona, Florida and Cal State Fullerton.
WHY OKLAHOMA? “I chose Oklahoma because the coaches and players made me feel welcome every time I made a visit to the campus. I am very impressed with the academic center and the service that it provides for student-athletes. I know college is going to be a new atmosphere for me and I feel very confident that I will be successful with the support system OU offers. I am very excited to be able to play softball in college with my sister Eliyah Flores. My sisters, Destinee and Eliyah, are my role models and have inspired me to continue my education and play softball at the college level. Oklahoma is the best place for me to accomplish this goal.”
Kinzie Hansen / C / R-R / Norco, Calif.
Kinzie Hansen is currently in her senior year at Norco High School in Norco, Calif. As a junior, the right-handed catcher was named a first-team All-American, the CIF MVP, the league MVP and the Press Enterprise Softball Player of the Year behind a .596 batting average, 31 hits, 29 RBIs, 11 runs scored, four home runs and a .992 fielding percentage. Hansen has earned all-league athletic and academic honors in all three of her seasons at Norco and all-state recognition twice, leading her team to the CIF Championship in 2018.
Playing with the OC Batbusters coached by Mike Stith, Hansen helped her travel ball team to a national runner-up finish in 2018 alongside fellow signees Nelson-Thiede and Rains. Ranked No. 6 nationally by Extra Innings and No. 18 by FloSoftball, Hansen finished the summer with a .460 batting average, 37 hits, 23 RBIs, 21 runs, 11 home runs and a .990 fielding percentage.
“Kinzie is a right-handed catcher who is one of the top recruits at her position in the country,” Gasso said. “She’s proven to be a great leader and a power hitter with a strong arm. She is the complete package, and she has been a part of many championship games in her career and brings a confidence the fans will love.”
|THE HANSEN FILE|
|PERSONAL: Daughter of Jason and Nicole Hansen … Has one brother, Cole … Aunt, Heather, played basketball at Cal State Fullerton and uncle, Casey, played football at Colorado … Chose Oklahoma over Oregon and Washington.
WHY OKLAHOMA? “I chose Oklahoma because it immediately felt like home. The atmosphere and the people welcomed me with open arms. The education and the resources that come along with it are very important and will be very beneficial to my further success. The coaching staff was also important to me while making my decision. To represent the University of Oklahoma means much more than merely wearing a college uniform. As I stood behind home plate when I first visited and looked out to the field, it felt like where I was meant to be.”
Macy McAdoo / RHP / R-R / Tuttle, Okla.
Joining Oklahoma from Tuttle High School is Macy McAdoo, an all-state and all-region right-handed pitcher. McAdoo was named a 2017 Softball Factory Under Armor All-American and led her team to three straight state championships. Last season, McAdoo finished with a 0.969 ERA over 195 innings pitched with 303 strikeouts.
Playing with the Oklahoma Athletics alongside Pogue, McAdoo wrapped up 2018 travel ball with a 1.55 ERA over 121 frames with 145 strikeouts, posting a 25-4 record with three saves. The Extra Innings Softball Elite 100 ranks McAdoo 31st nationally.
“Macy is a right-handed power pitcher who can throw the ball by hitters,” Gasso said. “We believe Macy has such an upside to her future. She has won multiple championships on the mound for Tuttle, so she comes the us with a winning pedigree. We’re looking forward to being a part of Macy’s future on the mound for the Sooners.”
|THE MCADOO FILE|
|PERSONAL: Daughter of Brad and Jackie McAdoo … Has two siblings, Emily and Brady … Sister, Emily, played softball at SCU … Grandfather, August Fucci, played baseball at West Point … Chose Oklahoma over Baylor, SIU, LA Tech, Missouri State, Florida State, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State.
WHY OKLAHOMA? “I chose the University of Oklahoma to continue my softball and academic careers because I felt like I was most at home when I stepped onto the campus and into the locker room. I really like the coaching staff and how they approach the mental and physical aspects of the game. My future teammates have already welcomed me tremendously and have allowed me to create relationships that will be helpful for me in the future. I’m looking forward to accomplishing many personal goals, team goals and to win a national championship.”
Alanna Nelson-Thiede / LHP / L-L / Carlsbad, Calif.
A left-handed pitcher from Carlsbad, Calif., Alanna Nelson-Thiede is currently a senior at Carlsbad High School. This spring, she was named to the All-Avocado First Team while helping her team win the 2018 Avocado Western League Championship. Additionally, Nelson-Thiede was placed on the San Diego Union Tribune All-Academic Team.
Nelson-Thiede played travel ball alongside fellow signees Hansen and Rains for the OC Batbusters, teaming up to earn a runner-up finish in the PGF National Championship. She comes in at No. 61 nationally for the class of 2019 by Extra Innings Softball.
“Not breaking with tradition, Alanna is a left-handed pitcher who can spin the ball well,” Gasso said. “She is another incoming pitcher with a championship to her name. The upside is enormous for Alanna, and she will fit perfectly as we groom our future pitchers.”
|THE NELSON-THIEDE FILE|
|PERSONAL: Daughter of Will Thiede and Rachelle Nelson-Thiede … Has two siblings, Brie and Gunner … Father, Will, ran track at San Diego State … Sister, Brie, played water polo at La Verne.
WHY OKLAHOMA? “From the first time I walked on the campus to riding around in the golf carts, I knew OU was where I wanted to attend college and play softball. I loved the coaching staff’s support and interaction with the players. They provide a family atmosphere while encouraging strong work ethic, self-improvement, teamwork and a winning attitude. They coach the whole person, teach life skills and volunteer within the community. The university and community have a competitive winning spirit. The coaching staff has a strong coaching history. The class selection was not limited to the major a player can choose. I am looking forward to growing my pitching skills, increasing my speed, growing as a player and teammate and giving back to the community. Personally, I want to challenge myself both in the classroom and on the field, I want to become more independent and challenge myself outside of my comfort zone, and I want to earn a degree that will enable me to give back to the community.
Raylee Pogue / UTL / R-R / Washington, Okla.
Raylee Pogue is another Sooner state product, hailing from Washington, Okla., and attending Washington High School. After battling injuries early in her career, Pogue earned all-state honors as a senior behind a .448 batting average, 29 RBIs, 10 doubles, six home runs and four triples during the regular season.
Pogue played travel ball alongside McAdoo on the Oklahoma Athletics for the past two years. This summer, Pogue averaged .242 at the plate with 22 hits, 25 runs, 13 RBIs, seven stolen bases and a pair of homers.
“We’re proud to have another local athlete in the mix. Raylee is a hard-hitting right-hander who is a very valuable utility-type athlete,” Gasso said. “She can catch and play the corners as well as any outfield position. She has deceptive speed which will add to an already fast and aggressive style.”
|THE POGUE FILE|
|PERSONAL: Daughter of Charles and Londa Pogue … Has one sister, Kinzlee.
WHY OKLAHOMA? “I chose Oklahoma is because of how being there feels like home. The coaches are great role models and amazing people that I admire and am more than excited to play for. The expectations they have for the players is something I look forward to having, and these will help me to become the best person and player that I can be. Being at Oklahoma keeps me close to my family and friends from back home. Ever since I was younger, I have always dreamed of playing there. I feel that it is the perfect college for me.”
Olivia Rains / RHP / R-R / Pryor, Okla.
The fifth 2019 recruit out of the Sooner State, Olivia Rains recently concluded her accomplished high school softball career at Pryor High School in Pryor, Okla. The 2017 Gatorade Oklahoma Softball Player of the Year, the right-handed pitcher finished her senior season as an all-state honoree behind a 0.88 ERA and 290 strikeouts over 206 innings pitched. At the plate, Rains batted .457 in 2018 with 46 hits, 29 runs, 16 RBIs, four home runs and three stolen bases. Rains has led her team to the 2016 state championship title as well as a pair of runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2018.
Along with Hansen and Nelson-Thiede, Rains spent three years with the OC Batbusters in California, earning a runner-up finish in the PGF National Championship this summer. Rains is rated as the No. 35 member of the 2019 class by FloSoftball and No. 55 by Extra Innings.
“Olivia is a right-handed pitcher with good mix of speed and a great drop ball,” Gasso said. “Olivia has also won state championships for Pryor High School and brings the championship mindset to the Sooners. There are great things ahead for the Sooners with Olivia on the mound.”
|THE RAINS FILE|
|PERSONAL: Daughter of Ryan and Jennifer Rains … Has one sister, Gracyn … Father, Ryan, played baseball at Oklahoma City University.
WHY OKLAHOMA? “The reason I chose the University of Oklahoma was because when I stepped on the campus it felt like home. The commitment of the coaching staff and the university to their student-athletes was unlike anything I had experienced, and I knew how important that was to me. They enrich and empower young women to be their best through faith and determination, which is something I feel very strongly about. With this opportunity, I plan on attending law school and representing the female athletes of our future.”
The Sooners will begin their 2019 campaign this February as they aim to defend their seven straight Big 12 titles. Fans interested in tickets can contact the OU Athletics Tickets Office for more information.