Shelby Pendley, an infielder who spent her freshman season at the University of Arizona, has transferred to the Oklahoma softball program, head coach Patty Gasso has announced. Pendley is cleared to play this season and will have three years of eligibility remaining.
"We're very pleased about the addition," Gasso said. "Shelby is very athletic and versatile, so she helps solidify our infield at any position. She also has incredible strength at the plate.
"The challenge for Shelby now is to learn our system and learn it quickly, which I don't think she'll have any problem with. She's so hungry to learn, and you can feel that. She's a sponge and she wants to learn, wants to know and wants to be taught."
Pendley said that she has enjoyed her experience since joining the OU roster before the spring semester.
"The experience has been great," she said. "The atmosphere, not just on campus, but also off campus has been great. I love Oklahoma, the campus, the coaches, the girls; I just love this whole atmosphere. It's very family-oriented, and that's what I like."
An All-Pac-12 First Team honoree, Pendley started all 57 games at shortstop and led the Wildcats in slugging percentage (.703) and home runs (19). She also finished second on the squad with a .331 batting average, 55 runs batted in, 121 total bases and 39 runs scored.
"She has a tremendous work habit; she's the first one there and the last to leave," Gasso added. "Thus far it's been a good fit, and we're excited to have an experienced player who definitely will have a hand in our success.
"She has so much power, which is one of our strengths already, so adding her to the lineup potentially is lethal because you just can't throw around anybody to get to someone else."
Her home run total put her 13th nationally and two off the Arizona freshman record. She joins an Oklahoma lineup that ranked second in the country with 1.59 home runs per game and set school and conference records with 102 homers on the year.
The Rio Rancho, N.M., native also ranked 30th in the nation with 55 RBI, hit seven doubles and reached base at a .413 clip.
Pendley joins an OU roster that returns 13 letterwinners from a squad that reached Championship Finals of the Women's College World Series. In addition, she will be one of eight new players, including seven freshmen from the state of Oklahoma.
Gasso's team enters the 2013 season ranked No. 2 in the country according to the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll.