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OSU Softball: Cowgirls Clutch Regional Victory against Nebraska

The Cowgirls scored four runs in the seventh to move on.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Rachel Becker had never played in the NCAA Tournament before this season, and Sunday she sent her team to the Super Regional.

Oklahoma State beat Nebraska 5-2 on Sunday to win the Stillwater Regional. The Cowgirls were down 2-1 in the top of the seventh when Becker stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. As a grad student getting her first taste of the NCAA Tournament after transferring from Purdue, Becker wasted no time, sending the first pitch she saw back up the middle to score a pair of runs.

“That’s just something I feel like I’ve been waiting for my whole career is to have such a big game on the line with a pressure situation,” Becker said. “Stepping up to the plate, my heart was beating a little bit. I was feeling it, but I knew if I saw my pitch, I was gonna swing hard at it.”

After the game’s final out, fans showered the first-year Cowgirl with chants of “RACHEL BECKER!”

“That was insane,” Becker said. “Having our fans here and just the energy in the stadium, especially in the top of the seventh, in that inning, it was just amazing.”

The Cowgirls struggled offensively for much of the night, but they came up clutch, scoring four runs when they were down to their final two out. Kiley Naomi and Micaela Wark also provided RBIs to give the Cowgirls some insurance.

OSU had a 1-0 lead entering the fifth when Kelly Maxwell allowed a pair of runners on, which brought out Lexi Kilfoyl from the bullpen. With runners on first and third, Kilfoyl’s first pitch went into the dirt and got past Taylor Tuck behind the plate, allowing Nebraska to tie it. Later in the inning, another wild pitch allowed another run to score to give the Huskers their 2-1 lead.

Given the lack of run support for six innings, the one-two punch of Maxwell and Kilfoyl played well, but probably not their best. Maxwell finished having thrown four 1/3 innings where she gave up two runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out seven. Kilfoyl threw the remaining two 2/3, allowing no runs off two hits while walking none and striking out two.

“We pitched well enough,” OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said. “Nine Ks, one walk, another error-free game — kinda the things we focused on this whole week. Things we focused on the whole year, but were really able to work through all that.”

The seventh-inning rally started with a Tallen Edwards single. On the other end of the experience spectrum from Becker, Edwards enrolled at OSU early, forgoing her senior year at Southmoore High School to don the orange and black. After Edwards’ hit, Katie Lott — another true freshman — stepped in the box as a pinch hitter and delivered a single down the first-base line before Megan Bloodworth drew a full-count walk to load the bases for Becker.

OSU moves on to host Oregon in the Super Regional round next weekend at Cowgirl Stadium. Oregon upset Regional host Arkansas to get to Supers.

OSU’s Postgame News Conference


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