With two strikes, two outs and a runner on, Texas pitcher Miranda Elish caught pinch-hitter Sydney Springfield looking for the Longhorns 11th strikeout of the game in their 4-3 victory on Sunday at Cowgirl Stadium.
This pitch capped what was Elish’s and Samantha Show’s second matchup of the weekend. With Friday night's matchup going in favor of the Oklahoma State softball team (26-10 Overall, 4-2 Big 12), Texas was on a mission.
Although they have proven to be elite pitchers, Show (11-4, 2.20 ERA) and Elish (9-5, 1.70 ERA) are two-way players that led their respective teams at the plate during the Longhorns' (31-8, Overall, 5-2 Big 12) victory on Sunday.
In the top of the fourth inning Elish hit a solo home run on the first pitch of the inning to give the Longhorns a 2-0 lead. Show followed in her footsteps by leading off the bottom half of the frame with solo home run of her own.
“Both games that myself and (Miranda) Elish were pitching were dog fights.” Show said.
“We both play with a lot of emotion. It makes me happy to see pitchers who hit and hit well.”
This became a trend throughout the weekend with both pitchers waiting to see who would flinch first. Friday night it was Elish, and on Sunday it was Show, who gave up four runs in five and one third innings in the circle.
Even with the loss, OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said there are some clear bright spots to take from this loss.
“We’re starting to score runs on elite arms,” Gajewski said. “We haven’t done that here. Not many people do. If you want to take the next step and be a super-regional team and host these kinds of things you have to score on elite arms, and we are starting to do that.”
Pennington continues to make strides
Another bright spot from not only the final game against Texas, but the series as a whole is the resurgence of third baseman Sydney Pennington, who went 4-8 in three games against the Longhorns.
As a result of her strong weekend at the plate, Pennington raised her batting average from .245 to .271.
She said this kind of success is something that has been building, and she believes it will continue to do so.
“I’ve been struggling the past couple weeks,” Pennington said. “I’ve really been trying to focus on pounding the ball into the ground. My hits aren’t super hard, but I think that's whats gonna lead to bigger hits.”
The plate was not the only place she impressed. Pennington was responsible for five outs on the defensive side, including a third inning in which she was responsible for all three Longhorn outs.
OSU honors Coaches vs. Cancer
OSU used Sunday’s game to put things into perspective for all in attendance.
The Cowgirls had two children, both of which have suffered or are currently suffering from cancer, throw out the honorary first pitch of the game. They also had more children pair with the players and head out onto the field with them before the game.
After the game, OSU players dedicated time to signing autographs for the children.
Gajewski said that this is something that he greatly enjoys and wishes that they could do more often.
“It’s perspective,” Gajewski said. “You look at those kids and my gosh, what they are going through. They read off everything that those kids are going through, have gone through and will continue to go through. It puts what we do in perspective. I think that's the biggest thing for me, is that any joy that we can bring to them, I want to be a part of that. I know our girls do, too. They are doing a great job with everyone who comes to visit us and I wish we could host those kids more.”
In what was a somewhat disappointing day for them on the field, the Cowgirls showed everyone that life is a lot more that just softball.