Cowgirls Cruise to Perfect First Day at SPC Elite

Pokes Report Staff

(This article was generated by Oklahoma State Athletics Media Relations)

STILLWATER ­The Oklahoma State softball team had a great start to the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational. The No. 16 Cowgirls run-ruled Virginia Tech 14-6 and defeated South Florida 5-1.

In the first game, OSU used three big offensive innings to run-rule the Hokies; scoring three runs in the first, four in the second and seven in the sixth.

Sophomore Kiley Naomi and senior transfer Alysen Febrey started the game with back-to-back home runs off of Virginia Tech starter Keely Rochard. Naomi, who was recently inserted into the leadoff role, filled up the stat sheet with two hits, two runs batted in, three runs scored and a stolen base against Virginia Tech.

“It’s different being in the leadoff spot, the team relies on you,” Naomi said. “I’m going to keep trying to do the best I can and get on for my team.”

“We thought we’d give her a shot and I don’t think she is willing to give it up,” Head coach Kenny Gajewski said. “She has been on base like crazy. She is a kid we always wanted to leadoff.”

Virginia Tech grabbed the lead momentarily on a four-run second inning but the Cowgirls quickly responded with a four-run inning of their own in the third. In the sixth, the Cowgirls scored seven runs and there were several firsts the transfers on the team. Junior transfer Hayley Busby launched her first OSU homer and senior transfer Carrie Eberle logged her first hit as a Cowgirl.

In the second game of the day, shortstop Naomi continued her hot start to the season. She reached base three times and showed off her speed on the basepaths with two thefts. The Cowgirls scored early in the first on a sacrifice fly by Febrey, a run-scoring triple by Michaela Richbourg and a fielder’s choice by Chyenne Factor. OSU tacked on two more runs in the third on freshman Karli Petty’s two-run single. The runs batted in were the freshman’s first as a collegiate player.

“Two really good wins against two really good teams,” coach Gajewski said. “We had a lot of good things happen a lot of things that we can continue to improve on. I’m very happy with our at-bats, defense and pitching.”

Up next, the Cowgirls face off against No. 14 Minnesota and No. 19 Missouri on the second day of the SPC Elite. Both games will be televised on ESPN3.

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