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Oklahoma State Softball

Oklahoma Takes First Place Back with Plenty of Bedlam in Stillwater

May 8, 2021
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STILLWATER – Bedlam was breaking out in the late afternoon sun at Cowgirls Stadium as Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso watched most of the last two innings from the Sooners bus or some other location outside the stadium Gasso was tossed arguing the final out in the sixth inning that happened right in front of her at third. A game that featured a little hand movement at third leading to that controversial out also had a contested hit by pitch in the bottom of the seventh, a pitching change by OU with a 3-1 count on a batter in the bottom of the seventh, and in the end a door closing with bases loaded and the potential winning run at the plate on three straight hitters. Oklahoma survived all that to win 6-3 and retake the lead in the Big 12.

Down 6-2, Karli Petty led off the bottom of the seventh and launched a home run to right-center and that helped chase OU starting pitcher Shannon Saile and seemed to unnerve the Sooners.

“I was just going to that at bat was do anything I could do to get on and I ran into one,” said the Cowgirls second baseman. “It felt amazing and I got the pitcher rattled and she walked the next batter.”

Actually, Saile hit Alexander. It was a controversial hit by pitch that appeared to either hit the knob of the bat or Alexander on the wrist. At first, the plate umpire Michael Parker seemed uncertain. He gathered the other two umpires and discussed it. Oklahoma’s dugout was claiming the ball hit the knob of the bat, but Alexander and first base coach Vanessa Shippy got the umpires attention and showed him the red mark and the start of swelling on her wrist.

“I thought it hit her on her hand, but it is hard to tell. I credit them for getting together and then Vanessa and Chelsea both got their attention,” Gajewski said. “I can see where they (OU) were upset. The bottom line is to get the call right.”

That brought on Olyvia Rains to the circle and she proceeded to walk Kiley Naomi and then went 3-1 on Chyenne Factor.

Oklahoma made a highly unusual pitching change with a 3-1 count on Factor and Nicole May came on and walked her to load the bases. Then May settled in and got Alysen Febrey to line out to center, Hayley Busby to fly out to left-center, and struck out Sydney Pennington to close out the game.

“Credit their kid (Nicole May) coming in their late and shutting it down,” Cowgirls head coach Kenny Gajewski said of the crazy finish. “She was put in a touch spot and she answered. Credit them.”

Oklahoma flinched from Friday night as Gasso juggled her line-up and early in the game the Sooners seemed different. The strut to the plate and out on the field certainly wasn’t the same for the top-ranked OU players. That confidence seemed to flow back into their efforts in the top of the third. Third baseman Jana Johns walked and so did Mackenzie Donihoo, who was inserted in the line-up. Nicole Mendes hit a ground ball to second baseman Karli Petty. Petty got the out at second but the throw to first was late for the double play attempt.

Lead-off hitter Jayda Coleman singled to right field and with runners on the corners, Jocelyn Alo doubled to the wall in right field and that scored both Johns and Mendes to make it 2-0 Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State Athletics
Factor on second after her first inning double.

Oklahoma pitcher Shannon Saile was doing what her name applies and sailing through the Cowgirls batting order. Saile gave up a first inning double to Chyenne Factor, but a third to first double play ended that threat.

In the top of the fifth inning Oklahoma doubled their lead with Alo and Kenzie Hansen both singled. Grace Lyons walked to load the bases and Lynsie Elam singled in two runs to make it 4-0.

The Cowgirls struck for the first time in the bottom of the inning as Karli Petty walked and the nine hole hitter Chelsea Alexander bunted in front of the plate to the third base side and Johns threw wide of first base and the ball went all the way to the wall in foul territory down the right field line. Petty scored easily and Alexander finished at third. Kiley Naomi hit a long fly ball to the track in center and that sacrifice allowed Alexander to score easily to make it 4-2.

The Sooners added a run in both the sixth and the seventh. In the sixth it was simple as Cowgirls starter Kelly Maxwell, who pitched pretty well against the explosive OU order was chased with a solo home run by Nicole Mendes as Mendes hit the scoreboard in right field to make it 5-2.

Oklahoma State Athletics
Maxwell gave up nine hits and five runs to Oklahoma.

“I thought Kelly pitched well. She gave up nine hits but it wasn’t like they were hitting balls all over our park,” Gajewski added on Maxwell’s pitching performance. “We had some unlucky balls that fell in front of us in the outfield and kind of broke our back there. I thought it was a real good softball game. Credit them because the pressure was on them and it is still on them. We know that. It is coming down to one game for the conference and I think any of us would take that. It’s right here in front of us.”

Then Bedlam did explode in the inning before the game ended as emotional freshman Jayda Coleman on with a single was moving on a single by pinch hitter Grace Green and at third slid past the base but still had her hand on the bag but with a little force by OSU third baseman Sydney Pennington and some of Coleman’s own momentum was tagged out for the third out. Coleman immediately started arguing and had words with some of the Cowgirls including Factor. Meanwhile, Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso had an extended argument with third base umpire Terry Holt and by the time it was over Holt had tossed the Sooner legend.

“I saw her come off the bag and Syd (Pennington) tagging her,” Gajewski said when asked what he saw from the Cowgirls dugout. “Coleman is aggressive and she is a special player that understands her speed and understands the game. Her softball IQ is through the roof. I don’t know if that was what Patty was arguing about. I saw that she had thrown her card and had a warning. Once you get a warning and you continue to argue that is what our rules are.”

Oklahoma added the last insurance with Lynsie Elam scoring on a double by Johns to make it 6-2.

Then, of course, that final inning that brought up the collective blood pressure of Cowgirl Stadium no matter what color or school initials you were wearing.

Oklahoma is now 41-2 and 15-1 in the Big 12. Oklahoma State is 40-7 and 15-2 in the Big 12. It all comes down to game three in the series at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Oklahoma State Athletics
Cowgirls want more Bedlam!

“I’m looking forward to a quick turnaround and seeing how these girls respond,” Gajewski said still showing the signs of an elevated or Bedlam blood pressure. “Our crowd wants this and I told our players to come here tomorrow and just let that energy from the crowd flow through them. We still have to take this from Oklahoma.”

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Oklahoma Takes First Place Back with Plenty of Bedlam in Stillwater

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