OSU softball: Madi Sue Montgomery's contributions to Cowgirl softball are immeasurable
It simply reads as a popout to second base in the scorebook, and to most people, that’s all it’ll ever be.
But the final out of Oklahoma State’s softball regional championship at Cowgirl Stadium last Saturday — a soft fly ball caught by senior Madi Sue Montgomery — holds more significance inside the OSU clubhouse.
Even more than what it literally accomplished, sending the No. 13-seeded Cowgirls into the best-of-three super-regional at Florida State beginning with a 6 p.m. first pitch Thursday.
“It was really fitting for her to catch that last out,” OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said after the clinching victory in the Stillwater Regional. “Being here for four years, and everything she’s accomplished here — she didn’t come here to get to this point. She came here to get 60 miles south.”
The goal of reaching the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City is two wins away. And for those who have been there since the beginning with Gajewski, it already feels like they’ve traveled immeasurable distances.
“This is what we came here for, to get this program back to the national stage,” Gajewski said.
Montgomery, from Burlington, Texas, and Taylor Lynch were among the players committed to Oklahoma State before Gajewski was hired to coach the Cowgirls. They’ve been the cornerstones of what Gajewski has been working to build.
While Lynch’s senior season has been hampered by a torn ACL — an injury she decided to play through because she saw the potential in this Cowgirl squad — Montgomery has gone on to reach significant OSU records.
With her three starts in the regional, she has now started each of the 238 games of her college career, the exact same number Gajewski has coached. That makes her the school’s record-holder for games played, games started and consecutive starts.
Along with her reliable play at second base, she has surpassed 30 home runs, 50 doubles and 200 runs batted in for her career, numbers that only one other player in Big 12 history — Oklahoma’s Sydney Romero — has matched.
And to say she has done it with humility would be a virtual understatement, evidenced by her response to a question about her 200th career RBI last week.
“RBIs mean that someone’s gotta be on base, so my team is doing their job getting on base in front of me,” she said matter-of-factly.
When that fly ball that would send OSU to its first super-regional since Gajewski took over came her way last Saturday, Montgomery wasn’t thinking about glory or accomplishments or any such things.
“I was like, ‘Look this ball in and catch it, please.’” Montgomery said with a smile. “I thought it was never gonna come down. It felt like it was up there forever.
I knew when we caught that, we could celebrate, and it was really cool that we got to do it at home.”
No. 13 Oklahoma State at No. 4 Florida State
Where: JoAnne Graf Field, Tallahasse, Florida
Radio: KGFY 105.5 FM
Game 1: 6 p.m. Thursday (ESPN)
Game 2: 2 p.m. Friday (ESPN2)
Game 3: 11 a.m. Saturday (ESPN, if necessary)