Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

May 23, 2013

OU's Turang spearheading production toward the bottom of the lineup

Oklahoma's Brianna Turang anchors the tail end of the Sooners' batting lineup in the No. 9 spot. Also, Texas A&M arrived for the Super Regional in Norman with donations in hand.

Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso has talked repeatedly about how important the bottom of the lineup is to the Sooners. She credits it for carrying the team when the top of the order isn’t performing, and there have been several game-winning rallies this season keyed by the last few batters.

Brianna Turang is at the heart of it all.

The senior has batted everywhere in the lineup in her four years at OU, and will again be called on to play a major role when the Sooners (50-4) meet Texas A&M (42-16) at 6 p.m. today in the first game of the best-of-three super regional.

Turang, who has batted leadoff in her career, has batted ninth for most of the season. On many teams that is a sign of a weaker hitter, but on this Sooners squad it is just the opposite.

The 2013 version of the Sooners is loaded, from top to bottom, a fact that Texas A&M coach Jo Evans went out of her way to acknowledge on Wednesday.

“From one to nine, this is the best lineup we’ve faced all year,” she said. “We understand how great their team is and we’re excited for the competition. We know we have to play a great regional.”

Turang is one of the major reasons the Sooner lineup is so scary. Because Lauren Chamberlain, one of the nation’s best hitters and a finalist for player of the year, hits at a such a high average Gasso moved her to the leadoff spot. But Chamberlain, who has 27 home runs this season, also has the most power on the team. That makes any hitter who can consistently get on base in front of her valuable.

That’s what makes Turang so valuable. She is batting .405 on the year and has as on-base percentage of .477. She is a proficient slap hitter who puts pressure on the defense and can beat out most infield grounders with her speed toward first base. The threat she presents forces defenses to play fast and has led to a number of errors this season.

While some batters may view the move to the bottom of the lineup as a demotion, Turang trusts her coaches and their ability to order the lineup.

And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I wouldn’t choose anything else,” she said. “I think it’s awesome to hit before Lauren. Understanding your role is really important and I’m able to enjoy being part of it.”

She’s not the only one who does. Gasso has shaped the batting order to get the most out of her loaded lineup. And that includes putting Turang into a position where she can enjoy success.

“We love to pass the bat and keep the inning alive,” she said. “The bottom of the lineup does a great job turning it back over to the top. It’s been a total team effort.”

Text Only
Sports
  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • shock pic.jpg Time to rest

    Shock beats San Antonio before entering All-Star break

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy leads, Tiger Woods in contention after 1st day at British Open

    July 18, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Stocks