Gasso's Core 5: Rylie Boone Energized Oklahoma's Fourth Consecutive National Title

Patty Gasso deemed the talented outfielder one of her "Chaos Coordinators" to help fuel the 2024 Sooners.
Oklahoma outfielder Rylie Boone (0) celebrates a single next to Texas' Katie Stewart (20) in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the NCAA softball Women's College World Series Championship Series game between the Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Texas Longhorns at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, Thursday, June, 6, 2024.
Oklahoma outfielder Rylie Boone (0) celebrates a single next to Texas' Katie Stewart (20) in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the NCAA softball Women's College World Series Championship Series game between the Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Texas Longhorns at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, Thursday, June, 6, 2024. / SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY

OKLAHOMA CITY — If you walked near Oklahoma’s dugout at any point during the 2024 season, you couldn’t ignore the noise. 

The constant cheers became a steady hum, one that helped power Patty Gasso’s indomitable machine. 

At the center of the noise was a familiar face.

OU fans greet Rylie Boone to loud chants of her last name on the field, and she repaid that energy through her teammates in the dugout. 

“Boone and (Jayda) Coleman… those two make this program go,” Gasso said after Oklahoma captured its fourth-straight national title last Thursday. “They are full of energy, and that energizes everyone. When they aren't energized, we aren't energized. They took it upon themselves with some guidance to know that was going to be a very special situation, if they could do it.”


Read More Gasso's Core 5:


Gasso went do far to find office desk plaques that read “Chaos Coordinator” for Coleman and Boone as a funny senior gift the OU coach finds every year. 

“They took that title and they ran with it,” Gasso said. “It really sparked this team.”

On the field, it’s easy to see why Boone was looked upon to raise the team’s levels. 

Whether she was making excellent plays in the field or laying down inch-perfect bunts and beating the defense down to first base, fans moved to the edge of their seats when Boone was called upon. 

As easy as it was for the veteran outfielder to celebrate success at fist base, she did struggle to set the tone for the Sooners every single day in 2024. 

“This whole season was hard. Mine (toughest point) was just learning to be at a 10,” Boone said last week. “… Being able to exhaust myself for others, to the best of the ability that God gives me. But just trying to stay in that role but also not trying to do too much while I'm in that role.”

Boone rededicated herself to her role on the team as Big 12 play began. 

The Sooners beat Iowa State 4-0 in the first game of a double-header on March 9.

Kelly Maxwell was excellent against the Cyclones, but Gasso wanted more from everybody else.

Boone took it upon herself to lead the dugout chants along with her play, and OU responded with an 11-2 run-rule win after five innings. 

The process of adjusting to the role wasn’t hard for Boone. 

She often hit at the bottom of Gasso’s lineup, but as a product of poor production.

Gasso liked having her roll the lineup over because she was so often on base, adding another baserunner for Coleman, Tiare Jennings and the rest of OU’s explosive lineup to drive home. 

Accepting that was the easy part. 

“I like being 9-hole. I'm okay with that,” Boone said. “I know these great softball players, once-generational players, they get the job done.

“To me, I really just felt the role to be their backbone in any way that I could, whether I'm 0-fer, whether I'm not 0-fer. Just being able to encourage them outside of the field, knowing they're enough without softball.”

In 2024, Boone had to figure out how to bring her best every day in the dugout to propel the team on the field. 

The results weren’t always perfect, but she found the right mix throughout the postseason to help guide the Sooners to an unprecedented title defense in Oklahoma City. 

“Jayda and Rylie Boone have so much energy,” Gasso said. “What you see is exactly what they are like every single day. They crash. When they crash, they crash hard. But they live life hard.”


Published
Ryan Chapman

RYAN CHAPMAN

Ryan is deputy editor at AllSooners and covers a number of sports in and around Norman and Oklahoma City. Working both as a journalist and a sports talk radio host, Ryan has covered the Oklahoma Sooners, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, the Oklahoma City Energy and more. Since 2019, Ryan has simultaneously pursued a career as both a writer and a sports talk radio host, working for the Flagship for Oklahoma sports, 107.7 The Franchise, as well as AllSooners.com. Ryan serves as a contributor to The Franchise’s website, TheFranchiseOK.com, which was recognized as having the “Best Website” in 2022 by the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. Ryan holds an associate’s degree in Journalism from Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City, OK.