Oklahoma State softball beats Oregon in Game 1 of NCAA Super Regional


STILLWATER — After Oregon’s Alyssa Daniell rolled a run-scoring single by way of the precise aspect of the infield, Oklahoma State pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl determined there can be no extra.

Quite actually. No runs, no hits, no baserunners of any variety.

The senior right-hander retired the ultimate 17 batters and the sixth-seeded Cowgirls’ offense lit up en path to an 8-1 win over unseeded Oregon within the opening recreation of the Stillwater Super Regional on Thursday night time at Cowgirl Stadium. 

Oregon managed three early hits, however with spectacular protection behind the hard-throwing Kilfoyl, the Ducks failed to achieve base over the ultimate 5 innings. 

“I didn’t know until someone said something,” Kilfoyl mentioned of her good last 5 ⅔ innings. “I felt good from the start. I was sweating a bunch in that bullpen, but being a Florida girl, I’m used to that.

“I trusted my drop ball and they were putting it in play right to our players. They’re covering every single inch of that field, and they did tonight.”

More: Tallen Edwards left highschool early to hitch Oklahoma State softball. ‘It was price it.’

Kilfoyl struck out simply three batters, however induced 13 groundouts. Oregon solely received the ball to the outfield a couple of instances, together with a few fly balls to the warning monitor, however each had been run down by Cowgirl outfielders. 

Freshman Tallen Edwards made a operating catch, leaping simply earlier than she hit the wall to make a seize on a fly ball within the first inning, and she or he got here charging in to make one other catch within the fifth. Chyenne Factor tracked down an extended flyout within the sixth inning. Middle infielders Kiley Naomi at shortstop and Rachel Becker at second base every made robust performs, together with a diving cease and fast throw by Becker on a seventh-inning groundout. 

“She was spotting the ball low,” Oregon second baseman Allee Bunker mentioned. “She throws the ball hard and low. We were trying to get our pitch.”

The Cowgirls (45-14) trailed 1-0 till exploding for 3 runs within the backside of the fourth and 4 extra within the fifth, keyed by house runs from Naomi and Morgyn Wynne. That was loads of offense to deal Oregon (38-16) its most lopsided lack of the season.  

The second recreation of the best-of-three sequence is about for five p.m. Friday, with the third recreation, if wanted, on Saturday at a time to be decided. 

More: How did Oklahoma State softball discover a ‘calming perspective?’ Meet pitching coach John Bargfeldt

OSU is one win away from its fourth straight Women’s College World Series look, and Gajewski is nearly assuredly sending ace left-hander Kelly Maxwell to the pitching circle Friday.

The resolution to go together with Kilfoyl was made early within the week when pitching coach John Bargfeldt approached Gajewski together with his ideas.

“On Monday, we were the only two in the office, and I knew he was gonna want to talk,” Gajewski mentioned of his dialog with Bargfeldt. “He’s a planner. I’m not. I kinda can do whatever. He said, ‘Hey, I think I wanna go this way,’ and I said, ‘We don’t have to make a decision here.’ And we never talked about it again.

“I think we feel like this because of the way she’s pitched here the whole year. She’s been as dominant as anybody that we have this year. We just have not played well behind her many times. I came to the ballpark here today and I felt like we’ve got a No. 1 going, and I’ll feel like that tomorrow as well.”

Offensively, the Cowgirls received the largest enhance from the house runs, but in addition took benefit of Oregon errors. In the fourth inning, one OSU run got here in on a throwing error and one other scored when shortstop Paige Sinicki couldn’t fairly seize a excessive line drive by Edwards.

The Cowgirls had been hitless within the fifth inning till Wynne’s homer, having reached base with two walks and an error on a sacrifice bunt, and scoring one run on a groundout earlier than Wynne lined her three-run homer to left area. 

More: How Oklahoma State softball rode into NCAA Super Regional with stick horse named ‘Bullet’

The house run — Wynne’s tenth of the 12 months — was a laser with out a lot top. But the super-senior designated participant by no means doubted it was gone.

“No, I knew it was over,” Wynne mentioned with fun. “I swung and I was like, oh, that was great.”

The Cowgirls, in fact, can’t calm down with Oregon centered on protecting its season alive on Friday.

“This is best two out of three,” Oregon coach Melyssa Lombardi mentioned. “We wanted to get the first game. We didn’t, but we’ve still got two more games to go. What I love about this team is that anytime something hasn’t gone our way, we’ve learned from it, grown from it and it’s made us better.

“I know some things that happened to us this game, we’ll take into our next game. I love this team. I love their fight. I think they’ll do a really good job of being able to let this go and be ready for tomorrow.” 

More: How has former longtime OU assistant Melyssa Lombardi resurrected Oregon? ‘Keep pushing’

Stillwater Super Regional

Best-of-three sequence at Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater:

Game 1: Oklahoma State 8, Oregon 1

Game 2: 5 p.m. Friday, ESPN2

Game 3: TBD Saturday (if nec.)

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