University of Oklahoma Athletics

NORMAN – University of Oklahoma head softball coach Patty Gasso announced the addition of eight signees to the program’s 2024 recruiting class Wednesday. Sydney Barker, Gabbie Garcia, Chaney Helton, Corri Hicks, Audrey Lowry, Kadey McKay, Tia Milloy and Riley Zache will join the Sooners as freshmen for the 2025 season. The eight signees represent three different time zones and six states – Helton and McKay will stay in their home state of Oklahoma, Barker and Hicks will join the Sooners from California, Garcia is from Arizona, Milloy hails from Washington, Lowry will travel southwest from Indiana and Zache from Michigan. Oklahoma’s elite 2024 recruiting class features numerous all-conference, all-state and All-America honors, as well as state championships. “There are so many leaders in this class,” said Gasso, “Each of these athletes stand out immediately with the way they lead their teams on the field. They’re very vocal, they’re so passionate and they’re extremely smart with the game. All of these players are extremely athletic and have incredible potential at the collegiate level. What I look for in athletes is their ability to play high-level defense while also providing enough production at the plate to be in this lineup. Each of these athletes possesses those attributes on both sides of the ball. Each of these freshmen are capable of vying for starting spots next season with the size of our departing senior class and we are so excited to get them on campus next fall.” Meet Norman’s Next below.

SYDNEY BARKER / MIF / ROCKLIN, CALIF.

A right-handed-hitting middle infielder from Rocklin High School in Rocklin, Calif. … Three-year letterwinner … Three-time All-Sierra Foothills League First Team honoree … Batted .417 as a junior with 29 hits, six home runs, 16 RBIs and 17 stolen bases … Earned Sierra Foothills League Player of the Year accolades … Led Rocklin to a SFL Championship as a freshman while earning rookie-of-the-year honors … High school coach is Mallory Asaro … Also stars in volleyball and basketball … Two-time scholar athlete … Played nine years of summer ball with the LTG Lions for coach Joe Henderson … Earned All-America honors while leading her club to a third-place finish at the 2022 PGF National Championship. PERSONAL: Daughter of Brooke and Anthony Barker … Has two siblings (Ali and Nolan) … Born in Sacramento, Calif. WHY OKLAHOMA? “I chose Oklahoma because of the ‘home away from home’ feel, and of course the opportunity of being able to play under the best coaching staff in the country. I’m excited to learn more about the business industry and continue on a successful path that I know the University of Oklahoma will set me on. A bonus accomplishment while attending the University would of course be to become a national champion.” OU HEAD COACH PATTY GASSO ON BARKER: “When I first saw Sydney, she immediately caught my eye with her actions on defense. She’s a very athletic shortstop, and I’ve seen her make some fabulous plays. On top of that she’s a tremendous leader. She is very in-tune with the game, plays the game hard, is extremely vocal and is truly the heart of her team. I felt her style, her love for the game and her athleticism absolutely fit our program. Offensively, the tools are there. I’m very excited about getting her on campus and watching her get stronger. There’s going to be real power from her at the plate.”

GABBIE GARCIA / MIF / CHANDLER, ARIZ.

A left-handed-hitting middle infielder from Basha High School in Chandler, Ariz. … Two-year letterwinner … Named to The Arizona Republic All-Arizona Team and was crowned Division 6A Most Valuable Player as a junior after leading Basha to the Arizona 6A State Championship by hitting .548 with 57 hits, 13 home runs, 33 RBIs, 48 runs scored and 10 stolen bases … Was also named 2023 first-team all-state while adding Premier Region and Chandler Unified School District Most Valuable Player accolades … Two-time All-Premier Region and All-Chandler Unified School District honoree … High school coach is Kailey Pomeroy … Two-time Sports360 AZ All-Academic First Team honoree and three-time Basha High School All A’s Award recipient … Earned the Hispanic Heritage Award for the Chandler School District in 2023 … Plays her travel ball with the Orange County Batbusters for coach Mike Stith … Named to the All-Alliance Super Cup First Team while leading her club to the Top Club Championship, Louisville Slugger IDT Championship and the Alliance Fastpitch National Championship alongside a runner-up finish at the Triple Crown Nationals in 2023 … Hit .378 with 51 hits, six home runs and 30 RBIs with Orange County last summer … Extremely accomplished track and field athlete in the javelin … Two-time member of The Arizona Republic All-Arizona Track and Field Team … Two-time AIA Division I State Champion in the javelin … earned the inaugural Arizona High School Open State Championship in the javelin … 2022 Arizona Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year nominee … Broke the AIA State and Basha High School records with a 165-6 throw in the javelin during her 2022 sophomore season … Placed fourth at the 2022 NSAF High School Nike Outdoor Nationals in Eugene … Four-time All-Premier Region and All-Chandler Unified School District. PERSONAL: Daughter of James and Kara Garcia … Has one sibling (Juliana) … Mother (formerly Kara Brun) was a hall-of-fame softball player at Arizona State and is a member of the Arizona Softball Foundation Hall of Fame … Born in Phoenix, Ariz. WHY OKLAHOMA? “I chose Oklahoma because it’s a family. The hardworking blue-collar mindset that OU Softball models is the environment I thrive in and want to be a part of. I know at the end of the day the program will have made me not only a better softball player, but a better person. I look forward to helping OU Softball continue its Championship Mindset.” OU HEAD COACH PATTY GASSO ON GARCIA: “Gabbie knows the game and is engaged on every single pitch. She’s constantly talking with her teammates and her pitcher. I love her athleticism on the field and her knowledge of the game. Her mother was an elite shortstop at Arizona State – you can see Gabbie’s natural athleticism and feel for the game coming from her parents. I’ve seen her hit it over the fence, I’ve seen her drop down a bunt and I’ve seen her be very clutch at the plate. She enjoys those big moments. She’s also a tremendous two-sport athlete. She could have a future as an Olympic candidate in the javelin and is extremely disciplined in balancing her time between academics, softball and track and field. She’s very mature for her age in her ability to take care of what she needs to in order to be successful.”

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CHANEY HELTON / OF / COWETA, OKLA.

A left-handed-hitting outfielder from Coweta High School in Coweta, Okla. … Four-year letterwinner … Back-to-back Class 5A-3 Player of the Year who posted a .500 average last spring with 50 hits, 32 runs scored, three home runs, 18 RBIs and 13 stolen bases … Four-time Class 5A-3 All-District First Team selection … Led Coweta to four consecutive regional championships, a 2020 Oklahoma Class 5A State Championship, two 5A state runner-up finishes and four 5A state semifinals appearances … High school coach is Blake Dunn … National Honor Society member … Three-year letterwinner in track and field is a nine-time state qualifier with a 2021 state medal and three finals appearances in the 200-meter dash … Plays club ball with Iowa Premier 18U National for coach Greg Dickel … Led Iowa Premier to a runner-up finish at the 2022 Tier I Alliance Fastpitch Championship Series and a third-place finish in 2023 … Batted .420 last summer with 67 hits, 73 runs scored, 11 home runs, 43 RBIs and 31 stolen bases. PERSONAL: Daughter of Chad Helton and Amy Grogan … Has three brothers (Derek, Brock and Brantley) and two sisters (Kaylee and Camryn) … Born in Tulsa, Okla. WHY OKLAHOMA? “Since I could pick up a softball, it has always been my dream to play for the University of Oklahoma. I know the coaches here will help me become the best athlete I can be and also help me grow off of the field as a person. I want to inspire young athletes to chase their dreams, and show them that they can come true. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a part of a program with the tradition and culture that Oklahoma provides. I’m ready to do whatever it takes to help the team win national championships.” OU HEAD COACH PATTY GASSO ON HELTON: “Chaney is a local athlete, an Oklahoma kid, who is very vocal, has a lot of energy and is so enjoyable to watch. She has been the leadoff hitter for her high school and travel teams. She’s a triple threat – tremendous speed, she can lay down a bunt and she can hit it out of the park. I’ve seen her do it all. She’s very versatile, very comfortable and speedy in the outfield. She’s a wonderful addition. Her energy is at a different level. Chaney exemplifies the abundant passion for the game this class brings to Norman.”

CORRI HICKS / C/1B / SAN JOSE, CALIF.

A right-handed-hitting catcher and first baseman from Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, Calif. … Two-time All-Central Coast Section honoree … Led Archbishop Mitty to a 2023 West Catholic Athletic League Co-Championship while slashing .302/.444/.587 for a 1.031 OPS with six home runs and 16 RBIs … Produced a 1.408 OPS as a sophomore on a .398/.468/.939 slash line with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs … High school coach is Megan Yocke … Plays her travel ball with the Orange County Batbusters for coach Matt Stith … Named a 2023 Premier Girls Fastpitch Futures All-American after hitting .469 with 30 hits, six home runs and 18 RBIs last summer … Guided Sorcerer Gold to a top 15 finish at the 2022 Premier Girls Fastpitch Nationals. PERSONAL: Daughter of Katherine and Julius Hicks … Has three siblings (Jamie, Rylie and Callie) … Father played basketball at Oregon and served as captain as a senior … Born in San Jose, Calif. WHY OKLAHOMA? “Oklahoma Softball has a long and deeply rooted history of excellence that I am so grateful and excited to soon be a part of. Stepping on campus and experiencing the core values and standard of work that are promoted within the program are really what sealed the deal for me. I am a very family oriented person, so seeing how much of a family atmosphere there is within the program made OU that much more special. I’m really looking forward to working hard, learning and of course – winning a national championship.” OU HEAD COACH PATTY GASSO ON HICKS: “I’m very excited to get Corri on campus. Her physical presence is just different. She’s tall, lanky and has great upside to become an elite hitter in the college ranks. I think our strength program is going to change her world; surrounding her with elite athletes will push her to be great. She’s very good behind the plate, has a great arm and can throw anybody out. She’s really quick with her releases. I see a great future for her here in Oklahoma. She comes from an athletic family and has tremendous potential to unlock.”

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AUDREY LOWRY / LHP / PITTSBORO, IND.

A left-handed pitcher from Tri-West High School in Lizton, Ind. … Three-year letterwinner … First Tri-West Softball player to earn first-team all-state honors after posting a 0.95 ERA across 148.0 innings, striking out 252 and winning 20 games in the circle while batting .612 with 54 hits, eight home runs and 50 RBIs as a junior … Named second-team all-state as a sophomore and already owns Tri-West’s career strikeout record … Three-time Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year nominee … Three-time all-conference selection … Three-time Indy Star All-State Team member … Won 22 games as a sophomore with 302 strikeouts and a 0.42 ERA across 148.1 innings pitched … Has struck out 790 batters through 423.1 prep innings … High honors student … High school coach is Mike Miller … Plays her summer ball with TN Mojo for coaches Michael Danley and Josh Fisher … Two-time Premier Girls Fastpitch All-American … Has led her clubs to three top-three finishes at the PGF National Championships including a runner-up placement in 2022 … Registered a 0.85 ERA last summer. PERSONAL: Daughter of James and April Lowry … Has one sibling (Landon) … Born in Indianapolis, Ind. WHY OKLAHOMA? “I chose Oklahoma because of the coaching staff, team chemistry and campus atmosphere. The minute I stepped onto campus, I knew OU would be my second home! I’m excited to work with all of the coaches, especially Coach Rocha in the bullpen. I’m looking forward to accomplishing many things including a national championship, but most importantly leaving an impact on the future generation and women’s sports in general at OU and in Indiana.” OU HEAD COACH PATTY GASSO ON LOWRY: “We are really excited to bring another lefty pitcher to the program. Audrey’s been coming to camp for a long time, so we’ve been able to see her grow into becoming one of the best pitchers out there in the 2024 class. Our strength program will help her. I’ve already seen her grow and get stronger. I’m so anxious for her to begin working with Coach Rocha and be surrounded with the other elite athletes on our pitching staff. I think we’ll see her go to another level collegiately.”

KADEY MCKAY / MIF / CADDO, OKLA.

A left-handed-hitting middle infielder from Caddo High School in Caddo, Okla. … Four-year fastpitch letterwinner … Two-time conference MVP and three-time all-conference selection in fastpitch … Has led Caddo fall fastpitch to three straight state championships … Batted .444 this fall with 45 runs scored, 36 hits, three home runs, 29 RBIs and seven stolen bases … Added spring slowpitch state championships in 2022 and 2023 … Accomplished basketball player who has earned back-to-back all-conference honors while guiding Caddo to a state finals appearance last season … National Honor Society member … Plays club ball with Epic National 18U for coach Scotty Smith … Led Epic National to a ninth place finish at the 2023 Alliance Fastpitch Tier I Nationals while hitting .396 with 27 runs scored, 38 hits, three home runs, 34 RBIs and nine stolen bases … Helped Epic National to a 2022 Top Gun Invitational Fall Championship. PERSONAL: Daughter of Dustin and Lacey McKay … Has one sibling (Jake) … Father was an all-conference baseball player at Southeastern Oklahoma State … Born in Durant, Okla. WHY OKLAHOMA? “The University of Oklahoma has always been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I was raised an OU fan and have loved the Sooners since I can remember, so to actually play softball for OU is the ultimate dream. I chose Oklahoma because it is close to home and it is home-like. I’m planning to study sports management and possibly sports medicine as well. After college, I would like to become a coach at the collegiate level.” OU HEAD COACH PATTY GASSO ON MCKAY: “Kadey is a local kid and played a big role in Caddo’s state championships. She’s a gamer and she’s a power hitter. I’ve seen her thrive in the clutch moments; she’s not afraid of the big spotlights. You can feel her presence as a team leader, but she’s also the daughter of a coach and you can see those coaching qualities in the way she plays and thinks the game. I’m really excited about her future here. She may have flown under the radar on the recruiting stage, but I think she is a future All-American.”

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TIA MILLOY / MIF / REDMOND, WASH.

A left-handed-hitting middle infielder from Redmond High School in Redmond, Wash. … Four-year letterwinner … Two-time all-state selection … All-State First Team as a utility player … MaxPreps Preseason State Player of the Year … Slashed .629/.729/1.171 for a 1.900 OPS last spring with 10 extra-base hits, 17 runs scored and nine RBIs across 12 games … Batted .589 as a sophomore with 63 hits, 51 runs scored, 13 doubles, four triples, eight home runs, 25 RBIs and 18 stolen bases while posting a 1.652 OPS … named 2022 Kingco League Most Valuable Player while leading Redmond to the Washington 4A State Championship … Helped Redmond to an undefeated pandemic-shortened 2021 season … High school coach is Mike Pluschke … Plays travel ball with the Northwest Bullets for coach Tony Campos … Named a Premier Girls Fastpitch All-American … Hit .425 during her 2022 summer season with 42 runs scored, 45 hits, five home runs, 22 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. PERSONAL: Daughter of Claudine and Lawyer Milloy … Has three siblings (Amirah, Kiki and Breda) … Mother was a two-time All-American track and field athlete at Washington … Father played football at Washington and spent 15 seasons in the National Football League, winning Super Bowl XXXVI with New England in 2002 and earning four Pro Bowl selections … Sister, Amirah, played softball at Washington … Sister, Kiki, plays softball at Tennessee … Grandfather, Roy Robinson, played football at Montana … Born in Atlanta, Ga. WHY OKLAHOMA? “I chose the University of Oklahoma because the coaching staff and the team instantly felt like family to me the moment I stepped on campus. One of the biggest things I was looking for during my recruiting process was a softball program with a strong female head coach. Coach Gasso, along with the rest of the coaching staff, cares about their players on a personal level deeper than softball. Oklahoma Softball is the definition of greatness and proves that women are just as capable of demanding attention, and that will always be a program that I want to be a part of.” OU HEAD COACH PATTY GASSO ON MILLOY: “Tia comes from such a terrific athletic family. Lawyer Milloy is her father, her mother was an accomplished track athlete in college, her sister is an elite softball player at Tennessee. So she comes from that lineage. Tia has a great lefty swing and is very passionate about the game. She works well in the infield, but I believe she’s athletic enough to play at any position. She’s another one of those big-time hitters who will leave her mark on OU Softball.”

RILEY ZACHE / C/IF / NILES, MICH.

A right-handed-hitting catcher and infielder from Saint Joseph High School in South Bend, Ind. … Three-year letterwinner … Two-time all-state honoree … Earned Class 4A All-State First Team honors as a junior after hitting .537 with 49 runs scored, 58 hits, 11 home runs, 45 RBIs and nine stolen bases … Collected Class 3A All-State Second Team honors as a sophomore … Three-time first-team all-conference selection … Has led Saint Joseph to three section championships, two regional championships and the 2022 3A State Championship … High school coach is Earl Keith … Four-year high honors student … National Honor Society member … Nominated for 2020-21 Congress of Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence … Plays travel ball with the Beverly Bandits Dorsey for head coach Rona Dorsey … Helped lead the Bandits to a fifth-place finish at the 2023 Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championships … Earned the 2022 Top Gun Invitational Championship with Beverly. PERSONAL: Daughter of Bobby and Leslie Zache … Has one sister (Berkley) … Mother played softball at Ferris State … Father was a track and field athlete at Western Michigan … Uncle, Tommy Stilson, played baseball at Stanford … Aunt, Kelli Martin, played softball at Western Michigan and Bethel … Aunt, Kendra LeBold, played softball at Bethel … pronounced zach-KAY … Born in Plano, Texas. WHY OKLAHOMA? “From the very start of my recruiting journey, my most important emphasis was on the focus of family. I wanted to go to a school where the idea of family meant something more than just a word, it meant that the idea of family could be seen both on and off the field among the players, coaches and their families. Not only that, I wanted to be in a place where I was more than a player, but a person. Ultimately I want to help continue the legacy of Oklahoma, and in the end leave the Oklahoma Softball program better than I found it.” OU HEAD COACH PATTY GASSO ON ZACHE: “Riley is a versatile athlete – she can catch, she can play shortstop, she can impact a team in a variety of different areas – I think surrounding her with this elite class will challenge her in a good way. Just as it will for our entire signing class, strength will really change her world as a collegiate athlete. I love her athleticism and her versatility, I think she can help us in a lot of different ways.”

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