With her team down two runs in its most important match up to date, Samantha Show stepped up to the plate and delivered everything her team could have asked for.
Three outs into No. 12 Oklahoma State's 3-2 victory against No. 13 Texas Tech, everything looked to be going wrong for the Cowgirls (35-11 overall, 11-2 Big 12).
Show, a senior OSU pitcher, had surrendered two runs, the second of which coming on a controversial hit from Peyton Blythe of Texas Tech (35-10, 8-8). This caused OSU coach Kenny Gajewski to get ejected from the game before his team had even seen an at-bat.
In the third inning, Show took matters into her own hands. Rylee bayless had just drawn a leadoff walk and stolen second base to get the inning started. Show then sailed a ball over the cars parked past the left field fence of Cowgirl Stadium to tie the game at two.
The following inning, Madi Sue Montgomery drew a bases-loaded walk to give her team a 3-2 lead they'd never look back from.
“I wasn't worried whatsoever that first inning,” Show said. “I had all the faith in our team and the chemistry that we had to go out and produce runs, and that what we did.”
With the lead in hand, Show pitched three shutout innings to secure her team's 35th victory on the season. Keeping the Red Raider offense at bay would not have been possible without three stellar innings of defense from her infield, she said.
“I couldn't be more proud,” Show said. “I had every ounce of faith in me and my defense, and that's the first time that that's ever happened in my life.”
Freshman shortstop Kiley Naomi led OSU's defensive performance with multiple flashy plays. Naomi’s day was highlighted with an unassisted double-play to give her team new life in a game that was anyone’s for the taking.
“That’s all we work on in practice, is keeping my head down, running through balls and making good throws,” Naomi said. “Any chance I get to take it myself, I'll do it.”
Show said this type of performance from Naomi was simply a matter of time.
“She gets worked really hard in practice,” Show said. “Coach (Gajewski) does not take it easy on her, but she handles it with so much poise and elegance, and that's why she is able to go out and make those plays.”
Though she is a freshman, Naomi has proven herself to her coach, who said he was impressed with her play as soon as she arrived in Stillwater.
“She came in here good and we knew that,” Gajewski siad. “I think we’re starting to see why we decided to move (Sydney Pennington) over to third. Kiley, from day one, came in here with a tough mentality.”