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Cowgirls defeat Longhorns in first game of series

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O'C Cowgirl Softball v. Iowa State-2.jpg

OSU junior Chyenee Factor watches a foul ball sail away during Friday's game of the Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State softball series on April 2, 2021 at Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater.

Center fielder Chyenne Factor dove for the ball.

The ball fell into the net of Factor’s glove, squeezing it to hold it from rolling out.

She quickly got to her feet, throwing the ball to second base, completing the double play.

“She continues to make some really big-time plays,” coach Kenny Gajewski said. “She has the heads-up awareness. She may be as savvy of a player as we’ve had here.”

Factor’s diving catch in the fourth inning was one of Oklahoma State’s key defensive plays in its 3-1 victory against the Texas Longhorns on Friday at Red & Charline McCombs Field in Austin.

OSU won the first game of the weekend series against Texas, with pitcher Carrie Eberle starting. Eberle pitched a complete game, allowing one run, a solo home run by UT’s catcher Mark Iakopo in the fourth inning.

“It was a hard-fought game between two good teams,” Eberle said. “It feels good to come out on top.”

Cowgirl coach Kenny Gajewski and Sydney Pennington speak to the media.

OSU’s first baseman Alysen Febrey matched the home run two innings later. Leading off the inning, Febrey hit a deep home run to left field, giving OSU a 3-1 lead.  

“It was huge,” Gajewski said. “Carrie doesn’t usually give up runs late, so when we are up two it is a lot better than one. Febrey was seeing the ball well.”

Gajewski said he was impressed with the dugout. In the fourth inning, Lauren Burke, UT’s left fielder, hit a double, but didn’t touch first base, something OSU’s dugout noticed, and called out. The umpire noticed, and OSU was able made a double an out.

“Our dugout caught it,” Gajewski said. “That was a huge moment in this game. It makes me happy that our dugout is paying attention to what is going on.”

OSU’s offense started early, with designated player Hayley Busby scoring Factor on a double. Third baseman Sydney Pennington traded places with Busby the next at-bat, giving OSU a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

The Cowgirls take game one of the series. Gajewski said earlier this week he is working on having the team take everything one game at a time.

“You’re 1-0 that is nice,” Gajewski said. “The humbling thing about our game is you have to play tomorrow. We enjoyed our bus ride home, but it is back to work to try to win the next game. It is the most important game.”