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Oklahoma State Softball

Cowgirl Softball Opens 2022 Season Ranked No. 3 According to D1Softball

January 18, 2022
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The Oklahoma State softball program continues to rise through the ranks every season, with this year marking just the second time since 1994 they start preseason ranked in the top 10. The Cowgirls will open the 2022 season ranked No. 3 in the country according to D1Softball.

This comes one year after the Cowgirls’ most successful season under head coach Kenny Gajewski.

  1. Oklahoma - 56-4 (1)
  2. Alabama - 52-9 (3)
  3. Oklahoma State - 48-12 (5)
  4. UCLA - 47-7 (6)
  5. Florida - 45-11 (10)
  6. Florida State - 49-13-1 (2)
  7. Washington - 45-14 (9)
  8. Arkansas - 43-11 (11)
  9. Texas - 43-14 (16)
  10. Missouri - 42-17 (13)
  11. Virginia Tech - 37-15 (12)
  12. Michigan - 38-8 (20)
  13. Duke - 44-12 (18)
  14. Clemson - 44-8 (19)
  15. Arizona - 41-15 (7)
  16. Oregon - 40-17 (17)
  17. LSU - 35-22 (14)
  18. Tennessee - 42-15 (22)
  19. Georgia - 34-23 (8)
  20. Kentucky - 43-16 (15)
  21. Arizona State - 33-16 (21)
  22. Louisiana - 47-12 (NR)
  23. Northwestern - 20-17 (NR)
  24. Liberty - 44-15 (25)
  25. James Madison - 41-4 (4)

Records and rankings in parenthesis are from the 2021 season.

As they have they past seasons under Gajewski, the Cowgirls start the season off playing some very good teams in classics around the country. They kick the season off against No. 21 Arizona State and No. 13 Duke in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, AZ on Feb. 10 and 11, then will face No. 17 LSU, among other teams, in the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational starting on Feb. 18.

You can see the full schedule here.

The Cowgirls return quite a bit of talent from last year’s squad, as well as added some elite transfer talent.

Seniors Taylor Tuck and Kiley Naomi are set to return in the 2022 season. Tuck was the primary backup catcher for the Cowgirls last season but was solid from both sides of the plate. Tuck hit .300 on the season, including a .433 slugging percentage, while not committing an error on defense.

Naomi finished the 2021 season as a First Team All-Big 12 selection and a third-team All-Region honoree. Naomi hit .341 last season with 14 homers and 37 runs batted in and a slugging percentage of .642. Naomi also recorded an on base percentage of .440 and 15 stolen bases. That makes Naomi just the second player in OSU history with a slugging percentage of at least .642 or higher and 15 stolen bases.

Joining them is fellow senior Chyenne Factor, who was Second Team All-Big 12 and NFCA First Team All-Region in 2021. As a junior, she hit .340 with 55 hits, 27 runs and 45 RBIs with nine home runs.

Sydney Pennington is a grad student this season and enters the year as OSU’s career home run leader with 37. The 13 homers from last season ties for ninth in a single season in OSU history. Pennington hit .270 on the season with 36 runs batted in and a .546 slugging percentage.

The Cowgirls added some very talented transfers, including Texas pitcher Miranda Elish and Florida catcher Julia Cottrill.

Elish opted out of the 2021 season due to COVID-19 concerns, but was one of the best two-way players in the country in the 2020 season. She posted an 11-3 overall record with a 1.25 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 84.0 innings. As a hitter, she posted a .370 average with 20 hits, including four home runs and 19 RBIs in 54 at-bats.

As for Cottrill, she was named to the NFCA All-Southeast Region Third Team and the All-SEC Newcomer Team following the 2021 season.

They also added Illinois State grad transfer pitcher, Morgan Day, who was First Team All-Missouri Valley and Second Team NFC All-Mideast Region in 2021. She finished the season with a 19-6 record in 29 appearances, posting a 1.63 ERA in 163 innings. She threw 19 complete games, which included eight shutouts and 247 strikeouts.

 
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