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OSU softball: Cowgirls beat Florida State 3-2 to clinch eighth trip to Women's College World Series

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Oklahoma State's Kiley Naomi (5), Rachel Dominguez (13), Elise LeBeouf (17) and Taylor Tuck (4) celebrate after the Cowgirls beat Florida State 3-2 Saturday to win their NCAA super regional in Tallahassee, Fla. [Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat]
Oklahoma State's Kiley Naomi (5), Rachel Dominguez (13), Elise LeBeouf (17) and Taylor Tuck (4) celebrate after the Cowgirls beat Florida State 3-2 Saturday to win their NCAA super regional in Tallahassee, Fla. [Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat]

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Call her THE Chyenne Factor.

Factor’s solo home run to left to lead off the third inning broke a scoreless tie and helped lift No. 13 Oklahoma State to a 3-2 win over No. 4 Florida State in the third and decisive game of an NCAA super regional at JoAnne Graf Field.

The victory sends the Cowgirls (44-15) to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City for the first time since 2011. It will be OSU’s eighth appearance at the WCWS, which begins Thursday.

Factor, a freshman from Yukon, launched a line drive over the left-field wall off Seminoles ace Meghan King.

“I had a talk with Chy (before the game) and I told her, ‘I need you to look at me and tell me if you want to hit or not,’” fourth-year OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said. “I didn’t like the look in her eyes (Friday).

“She didn’t feel good; her swing. I saw her first at-bat and should have taken her out. I challenged her (Saturday) and said, ‘I don’t need anything spectacular. I just need good at-bats.’

“She’s way beyond her years and has crucial at-bats for us all year. That home run was huge. I felt the wind come out of their sail after that home run.”

After Sydney Pennington reached on a King error, Chelsea Alexander laid down a bunt to advance her. Then the Seminoles (55-10) got sloppy with a pair of throwing errors that allowed Pennington to score.

“We didn’t play our best softball this weekend,” Florida State coach Lonni Alameda said. “There was no freakout button hit at any time. All you can do is give it your heart and soul, and that’s what we did.”

While Factor, who went 2 for 3 on the day, provided the offense, Cowgirls senior Samantha Show kept the potent Florida State lineup at bay for four innings.

“I really trust in what (assistant coach Jeff Cottrill) is calling,” said Show, who struck out four with two walks. “I love it.”

The Seminoles finally got to Show in the fifth with a trio of singles. An RBI single to left by Leslie Farris chased Show, but Logan Simunek got out of the jam by striking out Cali Harrod before Carsyn Gordon lined out to short. Gordon struck the ball well, but right at Cowgirls shortstop Kiley Naomi.

“If Carsyn’s ball gets through there, we’re probably running around pretty excited right now,” Alameda said. “It’s just the way the game goes. Unfortunately, we signed up for a game of failure and we’ve got to happy about it. We signed up for a game where breaks go either way.”

The Cowgirls added a run in the top of the sixth. Show was hit by a pitch from Kathryn Sandercock, who replaced King begin the fourth. Pinch-runner Shalee Brantley stole second and advanced to third on another Florida State throwing error and scored on Madi Sue Montgomery’s sacrifice fly to center.

Oklahoma State needed the insurance run because the defending national champions would not go quietly in the seventh. Catcher Anna Shelnutt blasted a solo homer to left-center to lead off the inning. But Simunek used an off-speed pitch to get Zoe Casas swinging and then got Makinzy Herzog to ground out.

“We have different off-speeds. I throw more of a change-up and (Simunek) has a little bit of an up movement to hers,” Show said. “I can’t be more proud of Logan Simunek. She’s stepped up and proved herself these past couple weeks, coming in in relief and just shutting teams down.”

When Cassidy Davis grounded out to end the game, it set off a Cowgirls celebration on the first-base side of the pitching rubber.

“We took it. We earned it,” Gajewski said. “I knew it was going to take all we had. I’m just so proud of these kids.

“They have earned this. They told me they wanted to be coached like a championship team… I’m proud of what they’ve committed to and what they accomplished.”

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<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f5044892d24b958f979815908a5f5589.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-91cd5c9e543ac4e24130c8667df65ac6.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State's Kiley Naomi (5), Rachel Dominguez (13), Elise LeBeouf (17) and Taylor Tuck (4) celebrate after the Cowgirls beat Florida State 3-2 Saturday to win their NCAA super regional in Tallahassee, Fla. [Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat] " title=" Oklahoma State's Kiley Naomi (5), Rachel Dominguez (13), Elise LeBeouf (17) and Taylor Tuck (4) celebrate after the Cowgirls beat Florida State 3-2 Saturday to win their NCAA super regional in Tallahassee, Fla. [Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat] "><figcaption> Oklahoma State's Kiley Naomi (5), Rachel Dominguez (13), Elise LeBeouf (17) and Taylor Tuck (4) celebrate after the Cowgirls beat Florida State 3-2 Saturday to win their NCAA super regional in Tallahassee, Fla. [Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-061f1770e6a837afefd5a7941e53d90e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State coach Kenny Gajewski smiles as he is doused with a bucket of some orange sports drink after beating Florida State 3-2 Saturday. [PHOTO COURTESY OF OSU ATHLETICS] " title=" Oklahoma State coach Kenny Gajewski smiles as he is doused with a bucket of some orange sports drink after beating Florida State 3-2 Saturday. [PHOTO COURTESY OF OSU ATHLETICS] "><figcaption> Oklahoma State coach Kenny Gajewski smiles as he is doused with a bucket of some orange sports drink after beating Florida State 3-2 Saturday. [PHOTO COURTESY OF OSU ATHLETICS] </figcaption></figure>
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