Two runs in two games against Oklahoma is normal for most teams.
For the Oklahoma State softball team, however, it is anything but.
OSU dropped its doubleheader to OU 7-1, 6-1 on Sunday at Cowgirl Stadium
Runs are always at a premium when facing the No. 1 Sooners, who leads the country in team ERA. The Sooners (48-2, 18-0 Big 12) have allowed one or more runs in 26 percent of their games. Their offense leads the country in batting average and home runs. OSU forces their opponents to be near perfect on both sides of the ball.
Similar to their efforts on Friday, the Cowgirls (37-14, 13-5 Big 12) struggled to get hits and runs.
Samantha Show, a senior pitcher and first baseman, said that even after being swept by OU, she believes there are better things coming for the No. 12 Cowgirls.
“That’s where we want to be,” Show said. “That’s how competitive we want to be. They're hard outs one through nine. They took good swings. They took advantage of us putting balls over the plate. It sucks not winning the series, not taking a game, but what's more important is winning in (Oklahoma City), beating them when it matters the most.”
Defensive chemistry continues to build
As runs were hard to come by and their pitching staff constantly battled, the Cowgirls' defense was forced to step up in order to keep OSU within reaching distance.
Both games on Sunday showcased spectacular defensive efforts around the field from OSU. From Rylee Bayless’s diving play in right field and Chelsea Alexander six double plays, their defense gave OSU every opportunity to stay in the game.
Their defensive play has been building all year.
“The infield has so much trust in each other at every position,” Montgomery said. “(Third basemen Sydney Pennington) she’s going to give me a great throw, I know if I give the ball to (Shortstop Kylie Naomi) she’s going to get rid of it, our first baseman are going to catch it, there’s trust all the way around the infield.”
Kylie Naomi is the newest addition to the Cowgirl infield. All season, she has flashed elite levels of defensive ability.
Gajewski said Naomi is what makes his infield work.
“It all starts with Kylie (Naomi) at shortstop,” Gajewski said. “That’s changed our whole program. The speed at which she plays with, the plays that she can make.”
Show relishes year with OSU
Show has spent less than a year in Stillwater, but she’s relished every second of it.
In the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, Show hit her 16th home run, breaking teammate Madi Sue Montgomery’s single-season record of 15, which was set last season.
At the end of the regular season, Show finished with 16 home runs, 47 RBI’s and lead the team in the circle and at the plate.
“I’ve had so much fun,” Show said. ”This is what I needed in my last year. This team, These coaches, this staff, their fans, this town I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I'm kicking myself for not trying to make this switch earlier.”