OSU softball: Former Cowgirl Michele Smith weighs in on season, direction of program entering Texas series
STILLWATER — Former Oklahoma State star Michele Smith will be back at Cowgirl Stadium this weekend with ESPN2 set to broadcast the second of three games between No. 16-ranked OSU and No. 10 Texas.
Now in her 21st year as ESPN’s lead color analyst for college softball, Smith offered her thoughts on this weekend’s big matchup, and other topics:
Q: What have you seen from these two teams so far this season?
A: "Texas is having a very good year with the addition of head coach Mike White and some of the Oregon players that have transferred over. It really was a game-changer for the program. And then you add the mainstays that were on the team already and were very, very talented, it’s made for a great season. They’re performing well.
"Oklahoma State is a very talented team with a couple transfers who have come in and made a difference, Samantha Show being the biggest of them. She’s a two-way player like Miranda Elish, so she’s a big hitter in the lineup for Kenny Gajewski, and a big arm in the circle. The big thing you want to see from Oklahoma State right now is consistency."
What have you seen in the direction of the program under Gajewski the last four seasons?
"I was happy when Kenny Gajewski got the job, because he’s a good guy. He’s a good coach, he’s firm, he gets the most out of his players. And he coached with Tim Walton at Florida on a couple of championship teams. He knows the commitment level, the expectations that it takes."
Speaking of the type of athlete that it takes to go to Stillwater, what lured you to OSU?
"I grew up in a part of New Jersey that is part of the reason they call it the Garden State. I grew up way out in the country. When I went to Stillwater, I was like, ‘This is like home. It smells like cow manure (laughs).’ So when I went out to California and South Carolina and colleges in major cities, it freaked me out, because that wasn’t what I grew up in. Stillwater, to me, was a natural fit."
NO. 10 TEXAS AT NO. 16 OKLAHOMA STATE
When: Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.
Where: Cowgirl Stadium, Stillwater
TV: Fox Sports Plus (Friday, Sunday), ESPN2 (Saturday)
Radio: KGFY 105.5 FM