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WCWS Field Set: Cowgirls Set to Play Florida in Opening Round

‘Might as well win, right?’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The Cowgirls secured their spot in the Women’s College World Series on Saturday night, but a handful of teams had to sweat it to Sunday to earn their bid.

The field is set for the WCWS, as Oklahoma State will play Florida in the first round at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Oklahoma City. Joining the Cowgirls and Gators in the tournament are Texas, Stanford, Alabama, UCLA, Duke and Oklahoma. Here is a look at the first day of the double-elimination tournament:

OSU played Florida back in mid-February in a game that wasn’t originally on the schedule. OSU was in the Sunshine State for the Clearwater Invitational. With weather affecting the event, OSU made a point to see some tough competition on the trip, so the Cowgirls went over to Gainesville and beat the Gators 3-0. All three of those runs came via a Karli Godwin home run in the third inning. That was just Godwin’s ninth college game at that point and her first home run. She’s gone on to set a program record for home runs from a freshman, tabbing her 15th of the season against Arizona this past weekend.

All-everything pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl threw all seven innings, shutting Florida out while giving up just three hits. She struck out six and walked two.

Florida enters the WCWS at 51-13 on the season. The 17-7 record in the SEC was good enough for the Gators to earn the 2 seed in the conference tournament, a tournament they won. Florida beat Missouri 6-1 in the championship game.

The Gators earned the 4 seed in the national tournament before sweeping the Gainesville Regional. They drew Baylor in Supers, going to three games with the Bears but punching their ticket with a 5-2 win on Sunday.

This matchup also brings the storyline of Kenny Gajewski going up against his former employer. He was an assistant in Gainesville from 2013 to 2015, winning a pair of national titles with the Gators before taking the head job in Stillwater. It’s a storyline that has gotten plenty of chapters written about it at this point, as OSU and Florida have played six times since Gajewski moved to Stillwater in 2016. He is 4-2 against the Gators — that includes a win in the 2019 WCWS (note Sam Show video below) and a win in the 2022 WCWS.

“Might as well win, right?” said Gajewski of the WCWS after Saturday’s game. “I mean, might as well win. That’s just the way we’re looking at it. We’re gonna go down to OKC, and everybody’s gonna talk about OU and all these other teams. That’s how it’s been for us the whole year. We’re just gonna go up there, and we’re just gonna play our best and see where the chips fall.

“I’m not worried about these guys. We will do everything that we normally do. We’re going there to be our best 8-year-old selves, and that’s it. That’s the way we’re gonna approach this. We’re gonna go have a blast. We’re gonna go take in every moment. We’re gonna go eat like kings and queens. We’re gonna go enjoy the little things. We’re gonna go shop. We’re gonna go do all kinds of stuff. We might even go and get pedicures. Might as well. I mean, let’s go. Let’s get the nails done. Let’s get the feet done, right?

“But most importantly, we’re gonna get focused when it’s time, and we’re gonna go have a blast. We’re gonna play the Cowgirl Way.”

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