Cowgirls Split on the Day, Beating the Gophers and Losing to Mizzou
Pokes Report Staff
(This story originated with Oklahoma State University athletic media relations and was written by Andy Cheng. Pokes Report's Robert Allen contributed to the story.)
CLEARWATER, Fl. – The Oklahoma State softball team had mixed results on the second day of the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational. The No. 16 Cowgirls shutout No. 13 Minnesota, 2-0, and lost in extra innings to unbeaten and No. 18 Missouri, 3-2. The Cowgirls had a 2-0 lead going into the seventh inning only to see Missouri rally to tie the game.
Two 2019 World Series teams faced off against each other in the first game as Oklahoma State battled Minnesota. Both teams sent out their ace in the circle in this top-16 matchup and both pitchers didn’t disappoint in what turned out to be a pitchers’ duel.
Carrie Eberle, the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year, dominated in the circle against a potent Minnesota lineup. The right-hander held the Gophers scoreless through seven innings in her first shutout as a Cowgirl. Eberle struck out four and allowed just four hits. She was challenged as just about every inning the Gophers mounted a threat, but Eberle kept putting out the fires with clutch pitching.
“That was a good game,” Eberle said. “Any time you go up against a big ace like that; you got to bring your stuff. It took everyone to win today and that’s what it takes to win against a top team like that.”
Shortstop and lead-off hitter Kiley Naomi stayed red hot with the bat with a first-pitch homer to left field in the first inning. The two-run homer turned out to be the only runs Eberle and the Cowgirls would need.
“It was a really good start to beat a really good Minnesota team and to beat a pitcher in Fiser who is an All-American,” head coach Kenny Gajewski said. “We figured out a way to score a couple of runs. Kiley got the big hit and Carrie was lights out.”
In the second game, the Cowgirls battled through poor weather conditions in another tight battle. OSU struck first in the opening inning, thanks to an error, hit by pitch and back-to-back walks. Naomi picked up another RBI on the day when she perfectly executed an old-fashioned squeeze bunt play that scored speedster Chelsea Alexander.
OSU starter Logan Simunek continued the trend of stifling pitching on day two, striking out a career-high seven batters through 6 1/3 innings.
The Cowgirls had a two-run advantage heading into the seventh inning but surrendered the lead on a defensive misplay. The unbeaten Tigers grabbed the lead in the eighth on a wild pitch and OSU couldn’t recover in the bottom of the inning. The Cowgirls fell to 5-3 on the young season and Missouri is now 8-0.
“We had control of this game through the first six innings and then just proceeded to fall apart,” Gajewski said. “A really disappointing end to a good start. We got a lot of stuff that we need to work on. We got some kids who got to figure some things out; we got some kids who are going well. That’s the way the season rolls.”
Next up, the Cowgirls take on No .9 Alabama at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow in another must-see showdown. The game will be televised on SEC Network. Then on Sunday Oklahoma State will face the U.S. Olympic Team before heading home.