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Cottrill ends stellar pitching dual, helps OSU beat Texas

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Julia Cottrill at bat during OSU vs. Texas

Kenny Gajewski foresaw the events of the game before first pitch.

On Tuesday, Gajewski, OSU's softball coach, said Friday’s game, and the entirety of OSU’s weekend series versus Texas, would be a dogfight. He was proven correct after the Cowgirls' 3-2 win against the Longhorns.

Over the course of the low-scoring, nine-inning contest, OSU pitcher Kelly Maxwell and UT pitcher Hailey Dolcini engaged in a classic pitching duel.

Maxwell allowed a two-run home run to McKenzie Parker in the third inning, the only two runs she would allow all game. The home run, a line drive to center field, was first home run Maxwell had given up in nearly a month.

Despite what the box score may appear to convey, Gajewski did not believe Maxwell performed well in the circle according to her standard, a sentiment shared by Maxwell herself.

“I did not think Kelly was very sharp,” Gajewski said. “(Texas) had an excellent plan and they did a nice job executing it. They did not overswing and they hit balls hard. Kelly just battled.”

After two hours and 25 minutes of game time, OSU catcher Julia Cottrill decided it was time to end things. She launching a pitch from Dolcini over the left field wall in the bottom of the ninth to deliver the victory for the Cowgirls.

“I didn’t want to get beat twice,” Cottrill said. “I had an 0-2 count before and I was not going to let myself get out again.”

Dolcini had matched Maxwell step-for-step throughout the game into extra innings to the tune of only two runs and five hits and before Cottrill’s home run.

Katelynn Carwile drove in the first two runs of the game for OSU with a two-run home run in the first inning and was swarmed at home plate by a herd of Cowgirls before being donned with a Cowboy hat.

When Cottrill rounded home plate after her home run, she too faced an excited mob of her teammates and wore the same Cowboy hat. To an admiring Gajewski, he believed the moment for Cottrill represented the result of her unique challenges throughout the season

“This game is hard,” Gajewski said. “It’s cruel at times. But she’s working hard. There’s a lot of pressure with her dad on staff and coming home, but she’s handled it well. She had a big hit and it’s really cool to see her have that moment.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com