The NCAA announced on March 30 that it will allow senior student-athletes who compete in spring sports to have an extra year of eligibility. The decision will also allow schools to go over the normal scholarship limits and will add seniors on top of the roster limit for baseball.
The sports that will be impacted at Oklahoma State will be track, golf, tennis, baseball and softball. This decision affects 40 OSU student-athletes.
OSU’s baseball team has eight seniors including starters Carson McCusker, Cade Cabbiness and Alix Garcia. Utility man Max Hewitt was also a senior along with pitchers Ben Leeper, C.J. Varela, Ryan Van Leeuwen and Jacob Ruder.
McCusker and Cabbiness both had break out seasons in 2019 to lock down the corners of the outfield. McCusker hit .235 in the short 2020 season with two home runs and 10 RBI. Cabbiness hit .281 with two home runs and 10 RBI.
Although the seniors can return, they are still eligible for the MLB first-year player draft.
The Cowgirl softball team was looking to return to Oklahoma City for the softball World Series for the second year in a row and had the team to do it. Led by its six seniors including ace Carrie Eberle. In her first year as a Cowgirl after transferring from Virginia Tech, Eberle was 10-1 with a 0.46 earned run average and 68 strikeouts. The Cowgirls will also be able to bring back their top hitter in Alysen Febrey who batted .382 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI.
The men’s and women’s golf teams have one senior each. The men’s team has Ferdinand Muller who played in all of the Cowboys’ tournaments. He has one career win coming this season at the Southern Plains Intercollegiate. He will continue to provide a solid piece to back up Austin Eckroat next season. The women’s team will return Michelle Forsland who was only able to compete in one tournament this season due to a hip injury. Forsland will continue her role as a leader for a young Cowgirl team.
The OSU tennis teams will both be able to bring back one senior apiece. The women’s team will be able to bring back 2020 Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement award winner Katelyn Blumenthal. Although she has seen little action in matches, she is a leader on the team as the lone senior. The men will be able to return Mathieu Scaglia who has been a key piece to the Cowboys lineup in his time at OSU.
The Cowgirl track team will be able to return All-American and Big 12 champion Aaliyah Birmingham along with a load of other seniors. The Cowboy track team will be able to return five seniors all with All-Big 12 honors.
OSU could’ve been losing a large number of decorated seniors across spring sports, but due to its seasons being cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they will be able to return to Stillwater to compete in one more season.