Mary Iakopo - Texas
Grace Lyons - Oklahoma
We begin with the game of the week in Austin, Texas with two of our Firecrackers Rico Alumni, seniors Mary Iakopo (2017) of Texas and Grace Lyons (2017) from Oklahoma going head-to-head. The last two BIG XII Players of the Week were front and center in the Longhorns 4-2 upset victory over the previously unbeaten Sooners (38-1, 8-1 in the BIG XII) sending a shockwave through the softball world. Iakopo was 1 for 3 with an RBI in the game helping improve Texas to 31-12-1, and 7-2 in the BIG XII. Grace Lyons was held hitless in the loss but has monster numbers on the season, batting .425 with 17 homeruns, 44 RBI, 48 runs scored in 38 starts. Here is how the game looked from both sides after the dust settled.
Firecrackers Softball: What was the feeling after winning such a big game and handing your rival Oklahoma their first loss?
Mary Iakopo (Texas): We weren’t concerned with it being their first loss of the season it was more about it being their first loss to us in seven years. It felt good seeing what I have always known this team could do after our rocky start to the season.
Firecrackers Softball: What was the feeling after losing for the first time this season and it coming against your rival Texas?
Grace Lyons (Oklahoma): As a competitor I hate to lose so our first loss was disappointing. But it’s not about records, wins or losses. Riding on the outcomes will only give momentary emotion, so I choose to look at the small wins within, and the aspects I can grow from.
Firecrackers Softball: Moving forward how do you think the team will respond to the win heading into the final weeks of the season?
Mary Iakopo (Texas): We will treat every game going forward as we did our last game. Playing it as we should rather than who our specific opponent is.
Firecrackers Softball: Moving forward how do you think the team will respond to the loss?
Grace Lyons (Oklahoma): I know that this loss fuels us a team to get better. No matter the outcome our team looks at the process and how we can each get better win or lose. I am excited to see our response to this and how our mindset remains locked in on the end goal.