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OSU Softball: Cowgirls Sweep Arizona to Make Fifth Straight WCWS Appearance

The Cowgirls are going back to OKC.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

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STILLWATER — Lightning in the Stillwater area only delayed the inevitable: the Cowgirls are headed back to the Women’s College World Series.

Oklahoma State beat Arizona 10-4 on Saturday at Cowgirl Stadium, as OSU swept the Wildcats. The game went into delay in the fifth inning because of severe weather in the area, but it was a formality at that point, with OSU already boasting a 10-3 lead. The delay lasted about two and a half hours.

“I know there’s a lot of people that counted us out at the beginning of this year, and I just kept telling these guys that they were good enough and they can do this,” OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said. “They’ve now put themselves in a position to achieve their goal, and that’s to win a national championship. Feels really cool. We’re going to enjoy that here tonight. We’re gonna enjoy it very well, but we’ll get back to work the next couple of days and focus on what’s next.”

The Cowgirls’ bats were all over Arizona’s pitching this weekend, totaling 18 runs in the two games. OSU used some gusty winds to its advantage Saturday, launching three home runs, bringing the Cowgirls’ Super Regional total to six.

Tallen Edwards got the scoring started in the top of the first with a two-run home run that bounced off the left fielder’s glove and over the fence. It also scored Cowgirl leadoff hitter Jilyen Poullard, who drew a four-pitch walk to start the game. It was Edwards’ first home run since March 28 in a game against Texas.

OSU tacked on two more home runs in the third, as freshman Rosie Davis sent one out to left, her eighth home run of the year.

Claire Timm was OSU’s next batter, and she took a 3-1 count to right-center. It wasn’t too far off from where she put a ball on Friday night. With her two home runs this weekend, Timm became the fifth Cowgirl to hit double-digit home runs this season.

Timm has a shot at Super Regional MVP honors, as she doubled to right-center in the fifth to score Davis. In the two games, Timm went 3-for-6 at the dish with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs scored.

That fifth inning saw the Cowgirls plate three runs before the rain delay. After Timm doubled in Davis, Lexi McDonald doubled in Timm. It was McDonald’s second double of the day and third of the Super Regional. Not a bad weekend for an eight-hole hitter.

Jilyen Poullard then hit a single to right that scored McDonald, and the sirens cleared Cowgirl Stadium right after that.

Ivy Rosenberry started in the circle for OSU, giving Lexi Kilfoyl some much deserved rest.

Rosenberry ran into a bit of trouble in the first, giving up a run after two at-bats, but she then got a strikeout and forced an unconventional 5-3-2 double play. Edwards got a line drive off her shoelaces before ripping it over to first to try to get the runner tagging up. That runner made it back, but on Edwards’ throw, a runner on third took off for home just for Karli Godwin to throw her out at the plate.

Rosenberry held Arizona scoreless in the second and third innings before giving up a two-run home run in the fourth that ended her day. Still battling through a fractured rib, Rosenberry threw three innings, where she gave up three runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking one.

She then made way for the all-everything Kilfoyl, who took the Cowgirls home. Kilfoyl threw four innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out three. She advanced to 26-3 on the season.

It’s the fifth straight WCWS the Cowgirls have made, continuing a program record for consecutive appearances. Before this string of tournaments, the most OSU had made in a row was two (1993-94 and 1989-90).

“I’m very proud of the 2016 team that kind of got this started, to be very honest,” Gajewski said. “That’s the group that kind of turned the tide here, and we just started on that journey, and I’m so proud of those kids for believing in me, the coaching staff I brought in. That’s where it started. Those guys don’t get enough credit for this.

“Then the 2019 team is the team that kind of got us over the hump with Sam Show leading the way and starting that, and it’s just kind of kept rolling. One day we’ll look back at all this and maybe reminisce over some adult drinks and we can talk about all that, but right now, it feels really good and just want to enjoy this one with these guys. Don’t wanna lose the moment and lose out on the memories with these guys because these guys are the team that our feet are under, and we need to stay focused on that.”

The Cowgirls will start the WCWS with a game against the winner of the Florida-Baylor Super Regional. Those teams split their first two games of Supers. OSU has already played both of those teams this season, beating Florida 3-0 in a thrown-together game in February. OSU and Baylor played their Big 12 series in early March in Waco, with the Cowgirls taking two of the three games.

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