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OSU Softball: Young Cowgirls Sweep Doubleheader against South Dakota State, Start Season Hot

The Cowgirls are 15-2 on the season and up to No. 3 in the Coaches Poll.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — A lot of the faces in Cowgirl Stadium have changed, but thus far, the results haven’t.

Oklahoma State beat South Dakota State twice in a doubleheader Tuesday, beating the Jackrabbits 11-2 and 10-0. The wins pushed the Cowgirls to 15-2 on the season, and OSU was the No. 3 team in the updated NFCA Coaches Poll. Most impressively, Kenny Gajewski’s squad has done all that while featuring a ton of underclassmen. OSU started three freshmen and four sophomores in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader.

“They’re pretty good — that’s what I’ve learned,” Gajewski said. “I thought we had a chance to be good, but they just continue to really blow me away with the way they swing the bats. Our pitching is getting better every time out.”

The big news of the Cowgirls’ offseason was the exit of Kelly Maxwell, as she crossed the Bedlam border to Oklahoma. Maxwell undoubtedly makes any team she is on better, but OSU’s pitching staff — now captained by Lexi Kilfoyl — has been solid. OSU has given up just two runs a game this far into the season. Kilfoyl has been particularly good. She’s the reigning Big 12 and national pitcher of the week after throwing 21 shutout innings last week. She added another three scoreless innings Tuesday.

She’s complimented by underclassmen Kyra Aycock (sophomore) and Katie Kutz (freshman), as well as senior Ivy Rosenberry — who threw just 37 innings all of last season. Needless to say, Gajewski keeps the talent rolling.

He said before the season started, he wanted to take a more committee approach to pitching in 2024. Kilfoyl has led the way, having thrown 36 1/3 innings, but the workload has been fairly evenly divvied up with Aycock throwing 29 innings and Rosenberry throwing 25. Rosenberry was out sick Tuesday or her innings would’ve been even closer to the other two.

Offensively, the Cowgirls are scoring 7.2 runs a game. It’s still early, but it appears this group is more powerful than last season’s squad. OSU hit 53 home runs last season, or 0.84 home runs a game. The Cowgirls are up to 26 this season, or 1.53 round-trippers a game.

The scariest part of the OSU bats is that four of the top five players in terms of batting average (among players with more than 10 at-bats) are underclassmen. Sophomore Claire Timm has somewhat come out of nowhere and led the way for the Cowgirls. She had just 29 at-bats last season as a freshman, where she hit .276. Through 49 at-bats as a sophomore, Timm is hitting .469.

True freshman Rosie Davis is hitting .409 through her first 44 collegiate at-bats. Karli Godwin, Davis’ classmate, isn’t far behind, hitting .345.

Then there is superstar Tallen Edwards. The sophomore — who should be a freshman if not for enrolling in college a year early — is hitting .388 after an uncharacteristically rough day (going 0-for-6). Going 0-for-6 would tank most players’ batting average well below .388 this early in the year.

Those four underclassmen mentioned have combined for 12 home runs and 49 RBIs.

“I think I’m very pleased with where [the underclassmen] are,” Gajewski said. “I think I’m more surprised by how they’ve handled tough situations because you just don’t know until they go through it and have all that stuff.

“As we’ve won more here, these kids have watched that. They’ve wanted to be a part of that for a long time. I think about a Claire Timm. She waited this last year a bunch, and man, she’s a special player and now she’s getting her shot to show everyone.”

Kenny Gajewski’s Postgame News Conference

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