OSU softball weekend roundup: Sweep of Texas Tech sets up exciting Bedlam series
STILLWATER — The Oklahoma State softball team swept its third consecutive Big 12 opponent and locked itself into a top-two finish in the regular-season conference standings.
Week record: 4-0
Overall record: 37-11 (13-2 Big 12)
The week ahead: Friday vs. OU, Saturday at OU, Sunday vs. OU
Cowgirls go to 11
In addition to three straight Big 12 sweeps, the Cowgirls have won 11 consecutive games overall heading into the final week of the regular season.
But the sweep of Texas Tech didn’t come easy, with victories of 3-2, 8-7 and 6-5. OSU trailed 2-0 in the opener, 7-0 in the second game and 3-0 in the finale.
Samantha Show put an emphatic exclamation point on the series with a three-run, walk-off home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning of Sunday’s game.
Saturday’s impressive rally began with a solo home run from senior Rylee Bayless and a two-run shot by Michaela Richbourg, both in the third inning.
Chyenne Factor and Sydney Springfield came through with big hits in the fifth, and Factor put OSU on top for good with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the sixth. Factor finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
Trusting the staff
In his first couple years at Oklahoma State, coach Kenny Gajewski was rarely comfortable going past his No. 1 or No. 2 pitcher.
But he has become more apt to go deeper into his rotation, and he left Saturday’s game in the hands of reliever Logan Simunek when the Cowgirls began to rally. Simunek relieved Samantha Clakley in the third inning after Clakley surrendered seven runs.
Simunek allowed no runs on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks over 4 1/3 innings, giving the Cowgirls a chance to mount their rally.
Title hopes on the line
OSU can’t finish worse than No. 2 in the Big 12 regular season standings, and its title hopes still have life, needing a three-game sweep of its Bedlam rival in the final weekend before the conference tournament.
Of course, No. 1-ranked Oklahoma is undefeated this season and OSU hasn’t won a game in the series since 2011.
But the Cowgirls are 15-1 at home this season, and get two shots at the Sooners — 6 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday — inside Cowgirl Stadium.
OSU has also strengthened its chances of earning a top-16 spot and host berth in NCAA regionals.