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Oklahoma State Softball

Cowgirls Beat OU To Take Big 12 Lead and Crash the Streaks on "Epic" Night

May 7, 2021

STILLWATER – This week, Oklahoma State head coach Kenny Gajewski felt his No. 7 Cowgirls were right on the verge of being able to take down the monster in top-ranked Oklahoma. The Bedlam rival has dominated NCAA Division I softball, the Big 12, and for sure, the Bedlam series. Gajewski said the Sooners had something his team wanted, and they were going to take it.

His team was able to cash the check that Gajewski wrote with a combination of home runs and the pitching of All-American Carrie Eberle. In the top of the seventh with a 6-4 lead, Eberle, one of 10 finalists for the top College Softball Player in America, faced two of her fellow finalist striking out OU lead-off hitter Tiare Jennings, walking Jocelyn Alo, but with a big smile on her face got three hole hitter Grace Lyons to ground out to second base and Karli Petty who threw it to Alysen Febrey for the final out and a 6-4 win in the Bedlam series opener.

“It was electric in this place, I was just, really did a good job today of keeping my emotions in check,” Gajewski said. “I pumped a fist, but I did it because I felt the storm. The storm was brewing. I saw it in these kids all week long. I saw it after we beat Texas. This thing is like a swell and it’s rolling. We been planting seeds and we’ve one some big games, but these guys (Oklahoma) have seemed to have our number like they have everybody in the country. It’s brewing here and I feel like I have one of the best jobs in the country. I felt this all day. It’s about to be epic.”

So many streaks sent to their end as Oklahoma had won 24-straight in the series dating back to 2011. The Sooners had won 10-straight in Stillwater and OU head coach Patty Gasso had never lost to Gajewski, a former Oklahoma pitcher in baseball, that once helped manicure the Sooners field in Norman. He was 0-14 against Gasso and his alma mater. On top of that Oklahoma was 40-1 on the season and 14-0 in the Big 12 with an NCAA best .432 team batting average. Oklahoma State is good, but the Cowgirls had only one hitter with and average over .400. 

On this night the Cowgirls had double the home runs the Sooners had with a 4-2 margin that matched the margin on the scoreboard.

Oklahoma State took the lead for good in the bottom of the third inning as they trailed 4-1 and badly needed to answer Jocelyn Alo’s two-run homer in the top of the third. After Chelsea Alexander struck out to OU ace pitcher Giselle Juarez to lead off the inning the Cowgirls proceeded to knock Juarez out of the circle.

After Kiley Naomi walked the Cowgirls center fielder Chyenne Factor put a home run ball over the corral in left-center field to pull the Cowgirls to 4-3. It was her fifth home run of the season and came just after a meeting in the circle with Juarez and catcher Kinzie Hansen.

Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics
Naomi (5) and Factor (9) celebrate the thrid inning home run.

“She was struggling a little big and she had walked Kiley (Naomi) and then she threw me two balls and they had the meeting,” Factor recalled. “I knew she was going to throw a strike to get back in the count, she threw it. The next one was right there where she threw the strike and I swung and good things happened.”

Alysen Febrey was up next and the All-American first baseman drilled her second single of the game into right field to set the stage for two-run home run number two. Hayley Busby stepped up and went opposite field with a line drive rope of a home run to give the Cowgirls a 5-4 lead they would never lose.

That was it for Juarez, who came in 15-0 with a 1.96 ERA and left giving up five hits, five runs, and three home runs in just two and a third innings.

Meanwhile, Eberle got stronger as shehad given up a pair of home runs early in the game, Jayda Coleman hit a two-run home run to left in the top of the second to give OU a 2-0 lead. Then after catch Reagan Wright answered with a solo home run for the Cowgirls in the bottom of the second, Alo had her two-run shot to McElroy Avenue that put OU up 4-1.

“I think I got stronger as the game went on and when we took the lead 5-4, a little pressure came off of me,” Eberle said as she went to 19-1 on the season and her ERA jumped some to 1.09, but she won’t mind. “Karli (Petty) made a big play and Kiley (Naomi) made a big play and we just never let it go. I knew I was going to grind as long as I told them I could.”

Naomi gave the Cowgirls a little bit of insurance when she led off the fifth inning with a home run deep over the wall in left-center and again, clearing the corral as fans out there sprayed whatever beverage they were holding into the air. There will be some full laundry baskets and washing machines courtesy of the frosty celebrations in left field on Friday night.

You can say this going into Saturday’s second Bedlam game, Oklahoma State has a school record 15-game win streak and OU has tied a season worse losing streak at one.

Now, Kenny Gajewski said he told his team the most important game of the season is tomorrow. The Cowgirls take over first place in the Big 12 with a 40-6 record and 15-1 in the conference while Oklahoma drops to 40-2 overall and 14-1 in the conference. That important game tomorrow if the Cowgirls win will clinch the Big 12 regular season championship. The 3 p.m. contest will be nationally televised on ESPN.

Discussion from...

Cowgirls Beat OU To Take Big 12 Lead and Crash the Streaks on "Epic" Night

1,575 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by Theecolonel
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Awesome stuff, always good to exit these "epic" Bedlam battles with a W. I hope the Cowgirls keep riding that wave. Go Pokes, take the crown!
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"They had something and we wanted it"..... classic

a look at my TV listing for Sat on ESPN - no mention of softball.... hmmm...

is it rained out or something?
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Way to go!!
USA First!!!!
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