Coming off of what was a disappointing fall season followed by a less than, but still disappointing winter season, Oklahoma State athletics looked to finish the school year strong with a solid showing from the spring sports.
Below is an overview of the ups and downs for the main three OSU spring sports during what was far and away the most successful five months of the school year.
OSU men’s golf was coming off of the program’s 11th national title which was won at Karsten Creek, the home course for the Cowboys. With this accomplishment and four of the five starters on the national title team returning to the men’s golf team came into the season with astronomical expectations and largely lived up to the hype.
The Cowboys won two regular season tournaments and placed within the top-4 in all five. Led by sophomore Matthew Wolff, who won the individual title in two events, and Viktor Hovland who won the individual race once in five tournaments.
The Cowboys cruised through the Big 12 championship, winning by 11 strokes to head to Louisville, Kentucky regional in which they won by four strokes after coming back from an eight-stroke deficit
The Cowboys advanced to the championship as heavy favorites and exceed expectations during strokes play. OSU dominated the field and came away with the No. 1 seed heading into match play thanks to a 31-stroke lead. Not only did OSU dominate stroke play as a team, Wolff also came away with the individual national title shooting a 10-under 278 to give OSU it’s first individual tile since 2006.
Heading into stroke play it looked as though OSU would repeat as champions following the dominant stroke play performance. Unfortunately for the Cowboys that is not how their season would end.
OSU defeated SMU, 4-1, in the quarterfinals to set up a match against Big 12 foe Texas. The match was tied 2-2 with Zach Bauchou forcing an extra hole which he eventually lost to end the Cowboys historic season.
This Cowboy's golf team would have gone down as the greatest collegiate golf team of all-time had it come away with a national title. Instead it will be a team that had the NCAA individual champion, Jack Nicklaus award winner, and Fred Haskins award winner in Wolff, the Ben Hogan winner and Big 12 player of the year in Hovland, and two All-Big 12 selections in Bauchou and sophomore Austin Eckroat that fell short of the ultimate goal.
OSU softball head coach Kenny Gajewski, in his fourth year, finally made the jump to the Women’s College World Series. The Cowgirls finished the season 45-17 with 1-2 performance at the WCWS.
The Cowgirls broke many program records offensively, most of which were due to senior transfer Samantha Show. In her one season in Stillwater, Show led the Cowgirls as their ace pitcher as well as breaking the program’s home run record for a season and leading the team in most offensive categories.
Sophomore Michaela Richborug made huge strides during her second season as she broke the sophomore home run record with 14 round-trippers.
Freshman Chyenne Factor and Kiley Naomi stepped directly into starting positions in center field and shortstop respectively. Both consistently made big play in the field and at the plate to keep OSU in games throughout the season.
The Cowgirls graduated a very impactful senior class. Along with Show the Cowgirls will be saying goodbye to Madi Sue Montgomery who set the Cowgirl record in multiple categories her senior year including RBI’s, games started and consecutive games started.
Senior Rylee Bayless was the Cowgirls leadoff hitter for the entire 2019 season hitting .307 and finishing her two years as a Cowgirl in the top-10 of multiple categories. Senior Taylor Lynch finished her final season in Stillwater on a torn ACL, but battled through to play in 55 games hitting .250.
The OSU baseball team had a similar season to its female counterparts. The Cowboys finished the season 40-21 and one game shy of making the College World Series.
The Cowboys took home their 33rd Big 12 tournament championship to host a regional in Oklahoma City.
Throughout the season the Cowboys garnered a reputation as a boom or bust offense. They totaled 93 homer runs while posting a 32 percent team strikeout rate.
Despite the consistent hitting OSU won the regional thanks to some stellar pitching performances from redshirt junior Jensen Elliot and senior Joe Lienhard among others.
Coming off of a regional win the Cowboys were paired up with fellow Big 12 school Texas Tech that saw OSU heading to Lubbock, Texas for the super regional round with the winner heading to the CWS.
The Cowboys dropped game one, 6-8, before winning the second one, 6-5, on a walk off wild pitch to force a third and final game. This is where the team’s boom or bust offense played a factor.
The team averaged over 14 strikeouts in the three games with the total being 14 in the final game. They eventually lost the game by the same score as the first, 6-8, to end the season.
The Cowboys had eight players drafted with RHP Logan Gragg in the eighth round and Peyton Battenfield in the ninth being the first two off the board.
OSU’s home run leader Trevor Boone was selected in the 18th round and the Cowboys senior leader Colin Simpson was taken in the 29th.