Mackenzie Donihoo enters transfer portal, 'no longer part of OU softball'

Ryan Aber
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NORMAN — One of the heroes of OU’s 2021 Women’s College World Series title team is no longer with the Sooners.

Mackenzie Donihoo, who last played April 10 at Texas Tech, announced the move on Instagram. Extra Inning Softball first reported that Donihoo had entered the transfer portal.

“Now, it is time to focus on getting back to being fully healthy, which I have not been,” Donihoo said in the post. “Now is the time to look towards the future and the opportunities that await me. My hope is to continue giving back to the sport that has given me so much, and to continue competing at a high level with the goal of inspiring generations to come.”

That Donihoo made the announcement wasn’t a surprise.

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Sooners coach Patty Gasso said shortly after she left the team following that series at Texas Tech that Donihoo was taking some time away, but left the door open for her return later in the season.

Recently, Gasso said Donihoo would not return this season, declining to go into further detail.

Donihoo — nicknamed “Lou” — became a sensation during last season’s WCWS, both at the plate and in the field.

She hit an OU-best .476 batting average in the WCWS with 10 RBIs, three home runs and a double. Donihoo hit two home runs in the Sooners win over UCLA after homering in a win over Georgia earlier in the day.

Donihoo made a pair of memorable defensive plays in the championship series.

In the first inning of the first game, Donihoo dove to snag a liner by Florida State’s Elizabeth Mason and then came up firing to double off the runner at second base.

Then in Game 2, with the Sooners facing elimination, Donihoo leapt near the front of the warning track to rob Mason of an extra-base hit.

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Oklahoma's Mackenzie Donihoo (12) catches the ball for an out in the sixth inning of the final game of the Women's College World Series championship series between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Florida State University at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Thursday, June 10, 2021.

The second catch, with OU leading 5-2 in the sixth inning, elicited an emotional reaction from Donihoo, who slapped the ball into the wall repeatedly in celebration.

The Mustang product never captured that same spark this season, hitting just .250 with one home run and 14 RBIs.

After starting seven of the first eight games in left field, Donihoo’s playing time began to diminish as Oregon transfer Alyssa Brito emerged.

Donihoo started just 10 of the next 26 games before leaving the team.

Brito has started all 16 games since Donihoo’s departure.

In her post, Donihoo also thanked OU coaches, teammates and fans.

Donihoo figures to have plenty of opportunities elsewhere.

The top-ranked Sooners open their NCAA Tournament regional against Prairie View A&M at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Marita Hynes Field.

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