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OSU Softball: Cowgirls Land 5 Seed, Will Host Stillwater Regional

The road to OKC runs through Stillwater.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The road to OKC runs through Payne County.

Oklahoma State earned the No. 5 national seed and will host the Stillwater Regional starting this Friday. The Cowgirls will host Kentucky, Michigan and Northern Colorado. It’s the fourth consecutive season the Cowgirls have earned a top-eight seed, meaning they’re guaranteed to host a Super Regional should they advance.

“Just really, really excited to have this opportunity for the fourth straight year,” OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said. “I told our team this is so hard. It’s not easy to do what they’ve done. You have to earn these things. You don’t get them handed to you. There are no favors.”

The Cowgirls enter the postseason 44-10 after going 21-6 in conference play, winning 10 of 12. They did drop their regular season finale to No. 2 seed Oklahoma (though they earned the series win over the Sooners 2-1) and then fell to BYU 7-2 in the Big 12 Championship.

But the Cowgirls don’t necessarily need to enter the postseason on fire. Last year, OSU lost 11 of its final 13 games entering the regional round only to advance to the WCWS for the fourth consecutive time. Only the two Oklahoma schools have made it to OKC their last for tries.

Kentucky is 30-22 on the year, playing in the tough SEC. Like the Cowgirls, Kentucky bowed out in the first round of their conference tournament, but the Wildcats were ranked going into last week.

Michigan also enters the regional with 40+ wins at 41-16 on the year. The Wolverines won the Big Ten Tournament, beating Maryland, Wisconsin and Indiana on their way to the title.

Northern Colorado won the Big Sky Tournament to secure their bid in Stillwater. The Bears are 27-24 on the season.

“I had a feeling that we’d get Kentucky,” Gajewksi said. “As we were sitting in there and watching everything kind of unfold, I was like ‘I think we’re gonna get Kentucky.’ Michigan was kind of a wildcard to see them pop in there. They’ve played really, really good softball as of late, winning the Big Ten Tournament. …

“I know nothing about Northern Colorado tonight. By tomorrow I’ll know a lot more.”

Things get started with Michigan and Kentucky squaring off in Cowgirl Stadium at 2 p.m. Friday. OSU will face Northern Colorado at 4:30 p.m. in the four-team, double-elimination tournament. The winner of the Stillwater Regional will face the winner of the regional hosted by No. 12 Arkansas.

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