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End of an era: Cowgirls' defeat brings an end to the careers of Gajewski’s most impactful class.

OSU vs. WASHINGTON 2019 WCWS 030.JPG

The OSU team cheers with its fans one final time for the season during the Oklahoma State vs. Washington softball game on June 1, 2019, in Oklahoma City. The No. 3 Huskies defeated the No. 13 Cowgirls 1-0, eliminating OSU from the 2019 Women's College World Series. (DEVIN LAWRENCE WILBER/O'Colly)

Oklahoma City - When Washington catcher Morganne Flores squeezed the final pitch of the game, she ended much more than her opponents season.

The Oklahoma State softball team (45-17) was defeated 1-0 on Saturday in the Women's College World Series, due to their inability to hit the Huskies Taran Alvelo.

She struck out 16 Cowgirls and out dueled OSU’s Samantha Show on UW’s way to advancing to the WCWS semifinals.

OSU coach Kenny Gajewski has increased his teams' number of wins and went to the WCWS in the four short seasons that he has been in Stillwater.

Saturday’s loss saw the end of the college careers of Gajewski’s most impactful class yet.

This year's group of seniors is made of seven players. Four of which played in Saturday’s season finale.

Madi Sue Montgomery, Taylor Lynch, Show and Rylee Bayless have been four of the most influential players on this year's team.

Montgomery and Lynch were incoming freshmen the year Gajewski was hired. They elected to stay when the change was made at the helm of the program.

One or both of them finish their careers in the top-5 in RBI’s, slugging percentage, games played, games started, hits, runs scored, doubles, home runs, total bases and have many other program records to their names.

Montgomery has started every game during her four years despite a torn ACL as well as many other injuries.

Lynch, similar to her fellow senior, has played her senior season with a torn ACL and has played in 54 games in her final season as a Cowgirl.

With a freshman class totaling two players, Gajewski decided to bolster the class with multiple transfers to the group in the coming years.

Three of which had substantial impacts on it’s the team's way to the WCWS.

Clakley, originally from UT-Arlington transfer to OSU for her final two years and was second in innings pitched for the Cowgirls.

Bayless transferred from Northeastern Oklahoma joined OSU in 2017. She tore her ACL in 2018, before coming back for her senior season and hitting leadoff for all 62 games.

She, like her fellow seniors, finished her career in the top-5 for multiple categories such as slugging, on-base percentage and is second in program history in drawn walks.

The final senior to play in the season finale, Show, had an impact felt far beyond Cowgirl Stadium. After her transfer from Texas A&M, she broke the program record with 20 home runs, led the teams in RBI’s and was the teams leading pitcher, starting all three WCWS games.

Show became a viral sensation for her bat flips following a portion of her home runs as well as her animated emotions in the pitcher's circle.

Despite the criticism she garnered this season, Show said that she hopes that her performance has been impactful for people beyond those in orange.

“My first couple years I didn’t know how to have an impact on my teammates and softball in general,” Show said. “Being here and actually getting to be myself has allowed me to leave a legacy to be yourself. That’s when you’re going to the happiest and that when you're going to be able to play your best. That was my biggest thing this year is I wanted to be happy, I wanted to be myself and I wanted to love softball. I got to do that here and I think the softball world got to see that and hopefully, the younger generations and just women, in general, need to understand that you need to be yourself and you need to be happy. No matter the situation is if you have to make a hard change, do it. It’s scary and you never know, but it’s going to work out in the long run. If that’s my legacy I did my job.”

Gajewski said Shows' attitude this year is what he has been preaching since his first days in Stillwater.

“One of my favorite words when we came here my first year, I talked to our kids about guts,” Gajewski said. “Very few people really understand what it's like to have guts, man. To go out there and just pour it out there. I got the treat to coach Sam. Sam has guts, man. She is truly a kid who's willing to lose a game. She's willing to be out there to lose a game. I say this a lot. There's a lot of kids who think they're willing to win a game. Who is not? There ain't a lot of kids out there that go out there and say, I want the ball no matter what.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com