OSU softball: 4 takeaways from Cowgirls late loss to LSU

OSU vs. OU 2019 WCWS 003.JPG

Sydney Pennington warms up during the Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma softball game on May 31, 2019, in Oklahoma City. The No. 1 Sooners defeated the No. 13 Cowgirls 6-1 for their second win of the 2019 Women's College World Series. (DEVIN LAWRENCE WILBER/O'Colly)

Both teams left it late, but it was the hometown Tigers that got the all-important job done - winning the game. 

The No. 13 Oklahoma State softball team battled for six innings against No. 11 LSU Friday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana before the tigers brought across the lone run of the game to win it, 1-0. 

Here are my four takeaways from the Cowgirls season opener. 

 

Cowgirls get first of many tests

OSU (1-0) will play arguably the most difficult schedule in the country this season and it started on night 1. 

Coach Kenny Gajewski and his team have their eyes set on a Women’s College World Series trip once again this year, and teams like LSU (2-0) are the ones they will face all along the way. 

Despite the loss, a game like this one is similar to those the Cowgirls played throughout last season's postseason run, and one that they will see time and time again if they hope to return.

 

Offense shows signs of rust

Both offenses had struggles getting any semblance of offense together throughout the night. The two teams totaled eight total hits with four apiece. 

This was the Cowgirls first game of the season, however, so the room for improvement is substantial. 

The one bright spot for both the Cowgirls and Tigers is that both left five runners on base. While that may not seem like the best stat - and it certainly is not - it shows that they were both able to get runners on, and just have to work on getting them around against a top-tier team like they faced tonight. 

 

Pennington cools off the hot corner

Third Baseman Sydney Pennington was put into action early and often against LSU as she was relied on throughout the game. She totaled three putouts and seven assists as the Cowgirls tried to keep pace.

Starting pitcher Carrie Eberle leaned on her drop ball to get outs and it worked - for most of the night. As both offenses labored to produce any offense, the margin for defensive errors was at its slimmest and Pennington held her own.

Pennington finished last season second on the team in errors with nine, and seems to have made a concerted effort to rectify her mistakes in the off-season. 

 

Eberle’s first start

Eberle made her Cowgirl debut Friday and showed signs of what got her ACC pitcher of the year honors last season with Virginia Tech. 

Eberle pitched six innings, gave up one run and struck out three batters. 

The problems began when she became erratic in the strike zone. Eberle struggled to find the corners all night and walked four.

Eberle had a solid pitching performance; especially for it being a season opener on the road, but small mistakes like the walks or the wild pitch that put the eventual winning run into scoring position, are the kind that lose games at the top tier of college softball. 

sports.ed@ocolly.com