On Wednesday, Oklahoma head softball coach Patty Gasso announced that junior utility Mackenzie Donihoo will not return for the Sooners this season.
“You will not see her again this season,” Gasso said. “That’s pretty much all I’ll say about it.”
Gasso announced that Donihoo was taking a leave of absence on April 19 after not traveling with the team to Austin for their series with the Longhorns.
The Sooners are preparing for a run in the Big 12 Championship this weekend, where they are the top overall seed and will face the winner of Iowa State-Baylor, which will be played on Thursday.
Donihoo turned in a .250 batting average so far this season, hitting one home run, drawing seven walks, and striking out 11 times. Compare that to last season’s numbers of .432 and nine home runs, while adding in her dip in fielding percentage from .981 in 2021 to .846 in 2022 and it’s clear that something is going on with the fiery outfielder.
Coinciding with Donihoo’s drop-off is the excellent play of Alyssa Brito and Rylie Boone, both of whom secured spots in the Sooners’ starting lineup in the outfield over Donihoo down the stretch. Boone’s average of .419 ranks fourth on the team, while Brito ranks fourth on the team with 13 homers this season while adding a .372 average.
The Sooners have terrific depth and will likely be just fine without “Lou,” but her impact on last year’s Women’s College World Series was profound. During the Sooners’ run to a National Title in Oklahoma City, Donihoo batted an impressive .476 and a WCWS-best 10-RBIs.
Her experience would’ve been valuable again this year if the Sooners make it back to OKC this June, but they will have to find another way to win it all this year.