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Leading off: Naomi continues offensive surge in regionals

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Softball - Kiley Naomi Regional Game 3

Kiley Naomi knew the ball was gone.

As the ball soared into the overcast skies and was deposited over the left field wall just short of McElroy Rd., Kiley Naomi trotted around the bases, and with a smile on her face pointed back toward the Oklahoma State dugout.

On Saturday, Naomi’s home run in the third inning helped OSU defeat Mississippi State 9-3 at Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater.

It was Naomi’s sixth home run in eight games, and her second in NCAA regionals.

“As lead-off batter I just try to set the tone,” Naomi said. “When you get that pitch that just looks good to you - I’m just ready to go and really aggressive and that’s what happens.”

On Friday, against Campbell, Naomi hit a home run, landing just to the right of where she had hit Saturday’s ball. It was the first pitch OSU had seen that game.

“Kiley got her pitch and was on time,” coach Kenny Gajewski said. “I told her it was one of the best first swings of a game I seen her have maybe ever. When she is going like that there is really not a better player in the country.”

Naomi went 3-4 on Saturday, scoring two runs and one RBI. On Friday she went 2-2 with a walk, scoring two runs and one RBI. First baseman Alysen Febrey said the Cowgirls have a great system at the top of the order.

“Kiley is definitely a good leadoff,” Febrey said. “A lot of times she is getting on base and Chyenne (Factor) is able to move her.”

Left field has proven to be Naomi’s friend. Five of her six most recent home runs have ended up there, with the exception being a deep shot to center against Oklahoma.

Whether in the batter’s box, or in between second and third base, Gajewski said Naomi’s goal is simple.

“This kid wants the moment to be in her hands every time,” Gajewski said.

sports.ed@ocolly.com