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Why Cydney Sanders Transferred To Oklahoma

cydney sanders oklahoma softball.jpg
(Photo by Oklahoma Athletics)

Former Arizona State star freshman Cydney Sanders transferred to Oklahoma this offseason and will join head coach Patty Gasso’s team for the 2023 season.

With three years of NCAA eligibility remaining, Sanders, a first baseman, will likely fill the spot left behind by Oklahoma graduate Taylon Snow.

Sanders quickly became a key component of the Sun Devils' lineup during her freshman season. A powerhouse in the box with 21 home runs, 63 RBIs and a .425 batting average in 2022, Sanders will fit right in with the mighty Oklahoma bats. To end her first college softball season, Sanders was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and a First-Team All-American.

Softball America caught up with Sanders about her decision to enter the transfer portal and subsequently choose Oklahoma.

Softball America: What made you enter the transfer portal?

Cydney Sanders: I went into the portal because Coach Ford left ASU. I went into the portal and I was just looking at my different options and I ended up getting a call from Coach Gasso. I was awestruck, it was so cool.

SA: How did it feel being in the transfer portal?

CS: It was kind of exciting. I got to see a lot of people asking me to come to certain places, and I got to see all these different rumors of people saying I would be in this uniform or this uniform. It was kind of cool to be in the spotlight and have that perspective.

SA: What was it like to have Patty Gasso reach out to you?

CS: I was very awestruck. Having one of the G.O.A.T.s of softball reach out to you and want you to be on her team is very cool. I was very shook. I was in shock, it was so cool.

SA: What ultimately led you to pick Oklahoma?

CS: I had to consider my other coach because she was also another option, but Coach Gasso and all the things and knowledge she has in this game is very interesting and I wanted to get to know that more. Then, when I took my visit there, I got to see all the knowledge that she had, same with JT and all the coaches. I got to spend time with all of them. It was a very surreal moment. I don't know, I just had that feeling of I’m home.

SA: What about the OU mindset did you find appealing and a good fit for you as an athlete?

CS: They want to win over there and I’m a very competitive person, and getting to spend time with all of them, I got to know that they are all also as competitive as I am. I really like that about them. They obviously win, but I’m not just going there to get a ring. They believe in you and they believe in the person you are on and off the field, and I love that about them. It was a really good choice for me.

SA: Going into the 2023 season, what are you hoping to bring to OU as a player and teammate?

CS: A big part of my game was hitting last year. I hope to fill the spot that's obviously missing. Jocelyn Alo is gone, and I know I’m not her, but I want to be the role that tries to fill those shoes of how big an impact she had on this game. I want to be there and be able to continue to help this program win.

SA: What advice would you give to other athletes looking to enter the transfer portal?

CS: Compete. Whenever you get knocked down, get back up. Softball is a game of failure. You are going to fail, but I try to limit the failure. Work hard, do everything that the coach tells you. Be coachable. When you are coachable, you will really be successful in this game.

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