Kenny Gajewski isn’t looking past Friday night’s game.
Gajewski, coach of the Oklahoma State softball team, has told his team all year the next game is the most important of the season. The Cowgirls need to sweep No. 1 Oklahoma this weekend to win the Big 12 Conference regular season title.
The series starts at 6 p.m. Friday at Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater. The second game is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Marita Hynes Field in Norman. Bedlam concludes at 3 p.m. Sunday at Cowgirl Stadium.
“You’ve got to win the first game to have that opportunity,” Gajewski said. “It’s the most important game of the whole year and we’ll treat it like that and prepare like that.”
No. 12 OSU (37-11 overall, 13-2 Big 12) hasn’t beaten OU in 10 tries during Gajewski’s tenure. Gajewski said he’s reminded his players these games are pivotal to achieving the championship goals they set at the beginning of the season.
“It’s not an ordinary week. It’s Bedlam, it’s for the league championship,” Gajewski said. “I told them, ‘I just don’t want you to leave one stone unturned.’”
OU (45-2, 15-0) has won 35 consecutive games. Its losses came to top-5 teams UCLA and Florida State. Gajewski said though facing OU is difficult, his players aren’t afraid.
“We’re all in,” Gajewski said. “It’s just softball when it comes down to it.”
Gajewski said this week his players requested to have early morning film sessions to prepare for the Sooners.
“[It’s] something we’ve never done on a normal game week,” Gajewski said. “We were all here at 6 [a.m.]… I get the feeling that they’re really locked in.”
Samantha Show, an OSU senior pitcher and first baseman, said from the film she watched on Monday she felt OU is ‘beatable.’ Show has a 2.30 ERA and is hitting .340 with 15 home runs.
“I don’t have to be perfect, I have a great defense behind me.” Show said. “What Coach G said was if I make one mistake I can’t make two more after that. If I make one mistake I have to go back to being sharp.
Show, who transferred from Texas A&M in June, hasn’t faced the Sooners before.
“It’ll be fun to come into here and play OU.” Show said. “It’s senior weekend so it’ll be good.”
The Cowgirls are coming off a weekend with three comeback victories against Texas Tech. Gajewski said those wins, combined with an earlier comeback win against Kentucky, gave his team confidence.
“It showed this team that they can win any game, at any time, against anyone,” Gajewski said. “This team is resilient, tough and mature.”
Madi Sue Montgomery, a senior second baseman, said the team is going to carry the momentum from the weekend into its series with the Sooners.
“I think we’re just going to ride that high that we’re on and go out there and play our game,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery has played in several close games against OU in her career. She said the OSU players’ mantra all season has been to focus on themselves instead of their opponents, and that isn’t changing this week.
“At the end of the day it’s still a softball game, obviously they’re good and we know they’re good,” Montgomery said. “If we just take care of ourselves and worry about what we can do instead of worrying about who is on the other side, we’ll be just fine.”