Friday will mark the fifth time Oklahoma State and Texas have played one another this season.
The Cowgirls have won all four games so far, sweeping the Longhorns in the regular season series, and then winning on an improbable walk-off dropped strike in the Big 12 Tournament.
Now, after both winning their respective regionals, the teams see each other once again, this time with a trip to the Women’s College World Series on the line.
“We’ve done all we can to win four games,” third baseman Sydney Pennington said. “I don’t think we need to be surprised by anything they do, and they probably won’t be surprised by anything we do as well.”
OSU cakewalked through its regional, defeating Campbell and Mississippi State twice, with two games ending in run-rule fashion to advance to the Super Regional.
Texas’ path had more drama. The Longhorns shutout Saint Francis (PA) and Texas State in their first two games, but a rain delay on May 23 pushed the game against Oregon back late into the night. Oregon won, forcing a winner-take-all game. After an hour break, the teams started the second game just before midnight, with Texas winning 1-0.
“It is hard to beat a team six times, I don’t know if I’ve ever played a team six times in one season,” Pennington said. “If we just stay with us and focus on us and not them, I think we’ll be good to go.”
As a team, the Cowgirls bat .462 in their regional, and five players hit over .500. The offensive dominance was highlighted by third baseman Sydney Pennington setting a new school record for home runs, hitting her 36th career home run Sunday.
“Obviously, we both know each other well,” coach Kenny Gajewski said. “I don’t think there is any little tricks that we can pull out at this time that are going to fool anyone. It is just kind of here is what we’ve got, here is what you’ve got, may the best team win.”
OSU pitchers Carrie Eberle and Kelly Maxwell are expected to start the first two games, with Texas expected to throw Shealyn O’Leary and Molly Jacobsen.
“O’Leary and Eberle are going to come out throwing (hard) from the first pitch,” Gajewski said. “They’re going to be feel good again.”