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A big Factor: OSU center fielder finds groove in WCWS

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Factor

Safe RBI for Alysen Febrey as Chyenne Factor makes a run for home plate

Oklahoma State center fielder Chyenne Factor had been in a slump. 

She'll be the first to tell you. 

"I mean it's been no secret," Factor said. "I haven't been having very good at-bats through supers. My first at-bat (Thursday) wasn't very good."

Things changed. In OSU's 3-2 victory over Georgia on Thursday at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Factor had the biggest hit of the day. 

In the third inning, with a 1-2 count and two outs, Factor sent a Mary Wilson Avant rise ball 220 feet to centerfield, trickling just over the outfield wall. 

The hit gave OSU a 2-0 lead, as Factor and designated player Avery Hobson touched home plate. 

"That pitch, it was kind of up if I remember correctly," Factor said. "I just decided to swing and not be defensive, and good things happened." 

Factor struggled in the NCAA Super Regional against Texas, taking seven at-bats with no hits and scoring just one run, before her performance Thursday.  

Her two RBI's on Thursday were her first since OSU played Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament on May 14, a drought of 20 days. 

Coach Kenny Gajewski said he didn't like her swings at the beginning of the at-bat. He said he put on a run-and-hit, similar to baseball's hit-and-run. He said it helps the batter be more aggressive when in the batter's box. 

The following pitch was low, but Factor swung, and Gajewski said he liked the way the swing looked. 

"I thought to myself, that swing is the one I want," Gajewski said. "The next pitch is the one she hit out."

Gajewski said the action of putting on the run-and-hit helped put her in an offensive mindset. 

"The kid is really good," Gajewski said. "Like anybody, when you're not going as good, it is tough. She knows that. She wants to come through. It has been a grind the last couple weekends (for Factor)."

Factor's home run might be all she needed to get back in the groove. She put down a sacrifice bunt her next at-bat in the sixth inning, moving shortstop Kiley Naomi to second, allowing first baseman Alysen Febrey to score Naomi on a single. 

The run would ultimately decide the game. 

"This is all it takes," Gajewski said. "One good at-bat and you get going again. It is huge. I thought (Factor) had a really nice day."

sports.ed@ocolly.com