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Ignore and impress: OSU takes care of Texas in second game of series

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O'C Cowgirl Softball v. Iowa State-1.jpg

OSU pitcher Kelly Maxwell winds up to pitch during Friday's game of the Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State softball series on April 2, 2021 at Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater.

In a matchup between two teams near the top of the Big 12, pitcher Kelly Maxwell did not care who the opponent was. She just did her thing.

Oklahoma State beat Texas 5-1 on Saturday in Austin.

The OSU (38-6) win clinched the season series, and the Cowgirl’s cemented their spot as a top two team in the Big 12 along with Oklahoma.

Texas mustered two hits against Maxwell. Few pitchers have been able to ensure the Longhorn offense had a long day like Maxwell.

“The way that Kelly came out, I could tell that she had good stuff in the first,” coach Kenny Gajewski said. “To strike a Texas team out nine times on a team that’s only struck out 125 times the whole year is really an impressive feat. I think it tells you a little bit about her stuff here today.”

Maxwell said she felt good, and stifled UT batters by adopting her self-focused strategy.

“Being able to go after the hitters and not care who’s in the other dugout,” Maxwell said. “Just kind of do what I’m best at and don’t really go to their weaknesses.”

As a slight smattering of raindrops hit Red & Charline McCombs Field, the Cowgirl offense accumulated some runs.

Senior outfielder Chelsea Alexander continued her scalding batting season by slapping a key double to left field in the top of the fourth inning. It scored two runs and put OSU ahead 3-1.

In the top of the seventh inning, senior third baseman Sydney Pennington hit a ball in the same direction but longer. She blasted a pitch off freshman pitcher Ryleigh White over the left field wall for a home run — making OSU’s lead 5-0 and a little history.

The homer moved Pennington into a tie for second on OSU’s career home run list.

“That’s really cool,” Pennington said. “I didn’t know that. I was just trying to go up there and hit it hard. That’s my goal every time. I’m kind of trying to keep that in the back of my head so I don’t get too pressured.”

The Cowgirls will go for the sweep of UT tomorrow. The Sunday game will prove critical for an OSU team ever looking to improve its postseason hosting likelihood.

“Both these teams are in the postseason,” Gajewski said. “We know that. Now it becomes can you sweep. Getting road wins against top 15 teams, this is how you solidify a top eight seed.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com