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Bedlam Softball: Cowgirls Drop Series Opener to Sooners 8-3

The Cowgirls fall in a long game.




STILLWATER — Outside of a Chyenne Factor swing of the bat in the first inning, the Cowgirls had a tough time producing offense against the Sooners’ stout defense.

In a slow game thanks to a condensed strike zone from the home-plate umpire, Oklahoma State fell to Oklahoma 8-3 on Friday in Game 1 of the Bedlam series. Factor’s three-run home run in the first inning was all the Cowgirls could muster offensively. Meanwhile the Sooners answered OSU’s three in the next frame before tacking on runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

There were 13 walks in the game. All of the called balls led this game to taking three and a half hours. For reference, OSU’s game against North Texas on Wednesday took two hours and four minutes. The OSU baseball game down McElroy started at the same time as the softball game, but the baseball game got nine innings in, in two and a half hours.

“It is what it is,” OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said. “Both teams are playing in that. [The umpires] are working hard back there. I know that. These guys are good, so that’s just part of it.”

Kelly Maxwell started in the circle for the Cowgirls but made it just three and 1/3 innings. She threw 86 pitches in that time. She tallied five strikeouts but also walked five and gave up four runs. Gajewski said Maxwell was struggling with moisture on her pitching hand from sweat.

She made way for Lexi Kilfoyl in the fourth, with the Alabama transfer throwing two and 2/3 innings. Kilfoyl gave up two runs off four hits while walking three and striking out none. Virginia Tech transfer Ivy Rosenberry pitched the final inning where she gave up two runs on three hits and walked another.

With Maxwell and Kilfoyl both throwing a decent amount Friday, it could be true freshman Kyra Aycock to take on the Sooners on Saturday.

“We’ll see,” Gajewksi said. “We’ve got Kyra. Feel good about her. She needs to be in this environment, see what that’s all about. We’ll run those kids [Maxwell and Kilfoyl] right back out if we’ve got to.”

Despite the high number of walks, the Cowgirl pitchers were able to tighten up with runners on for portions of the night, as OU stranded 14 runners.

The Cowgirls had a chance to make things interesting in the bottom of the fifth down 5-3, getting two runners on with only one out. But Kiley Naomi and Micaela Wark each struck out to end the inning.

OSU has now dropped eight of their past 10 games, a poor run of form that started April 16. Gajewski said he was happy with his team’s energy Friday despite the loss, saying that it was an improvement from recent games.

The Cowgirls fall to 10-6 in Big 12 play. With Texas dropping a game to Baylor on Friday, the Cowgirls could still finish second in the Big 12. The Longhorns are 11-5. But the good news for the Cowgirls is that they can’t drop below the third seed in next weekend’s Big 12 Tournament with Baylor sitting in fourth at 6-10.

OSU and OU go again on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.

“We’re still in a good spot,” Gajewski said. “Everything is still ahead of us. We’ll get what we deserve. If we continue to play like this here today — not pitch like this, but play like we played here today, we’ll be fine.”

Kenny Gajewski’s Postgame News Conference

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