Champions of the Big 12, the No. 6/7 Oklahoma State softball team (41-12 overall, 17-4 Big 12) is the No. 7 national seed in the 2022 NCAA Tournament and hosts Atlantic 10 champion Fordham (30-20 overall), Big Ten champion Nebraska (40-14 overall) and Conference USA champion North Texas (35-14 overall) in the Stillwater Regional at Cowgirl Stadium from May 20-22.
Action starts at 5 p.m. Friday when Nebraska takes on North Texas. Oklahoma State battles Fordham at 7:30 p.m.
Watch, Listen, Follow
Both of Friday's games at the Stillwater Regional can be streamed on ESPN+ with Alex Loeb and Cat Osterman on the call.
Every game of the Stillwater Regional is slated for the ESPN family of network; designations will be announced as soon as they become official.
All of Oklahoma State's games can be heard on 105.5 KGFY FM or online at stillwaterradio.net with Bill Van Ness on the call.
Live stats are available online at okstate.statbroadcast.com.
Fans can follow @CowgirlSB on Twitter all season for regular coverage and updates.
In the Rankings
As of May 17, Oklahoma State ranks:
• No. 6 in the USA Today/NFCA DI Top 25 Coaches Poll
• No. 7 in SoftballAmerica's NCAA Division I Softball Top 25
• No. 7 in NCAA DI Adjusted Rating Percentage Index
• No. 7 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25
• No. 9 in D1Softball's Top 25
Oklahoma State From a Distance
A week removed from capturing its first Big 12 tournament championship, Oklahoma State makes its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. OSU is a regional host for the third consecutive season and a top-eight national seed for the second year in a row.
The Cowgirls boast top-25 wins over Northwestern, Michigan, Arizona State, a three-game series sweep of Texas, another win over Texas at the Big 12 Tournament and an extra-innings victory win over top-ranked Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game.
OSU is led by Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Kelly Maxwell, fellow first-team All-Big 12 performer Miranda Elish and second-team All-Big 12 honorees Katelynn Carwile, Chyenne Factor, Kiley Naomi and Sydney Pennington.
Notable Streaks and Trends
• OSU has eclipsed 40 wins for the third consecutive season, a feat it has accomplished only two other times in its history (1988-90 and 1992-94).
• Under Kenny Gajewski, OSU is 8-1 in NCAA tournament games played at Cowgirl Stadium.
• Kenny Gajewski has captained the Cowgirls to an NCAA tournament berth every season since his arrival in 2016 (excluding the shortened 2020 season, in which the NCAA tournament was canceled).
• The Cowgirls have been ranked in the NFCA poll in each of their last 194 games, dating back to the start of the 2019 season.
• OSU has outhit opponents in 39 of its 53 games this season.
• OSU is 28-3 when it scores first and 17-1 when it scores in the first inning.
• Sydney Pennington has started 260 consecutive games, which amounts to every game of her career.
• Morgan Day has tallied 97 strikeouts this season. With three more, she would join Kelly Maxwell (238) and Miranda Elish (128) with a triple-digit season strikeout total. It would mark the first time in school history three pitchers have each recorded 100+ strikeouts in a single season.
Dating back to Oklahoma State's first NCAA postseason appearance in 1982, the Cowgirls have tallied a 46-28 record in the regional round, including a 20-4 as host. At the reins of Cowgirl softball, head coach Kenny Gajewski has amassed a 13-6 record in the regional round.
Including a midweek victory on March 15, OSU leads in its series history with North Texas, 21-7, including a 11-2 record in Stillwater.
OSU and former Big Eight foe Nebraska are deadlocked at 48-48 in their all-time series history. The Cowgirls have a 17-12 edge over the Cornhuskers in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State meets Fordham for the first time this weekend.
After finishing the regular season with a 14-4 record against Big 12 opposition – the second-best regular season conference win total in school history – Oklahoma State opened the 2022 postseason in emphatic fashion as it captured its first Big 12 title.
The Cowgirls beat Kansas and No. 16 Texas to earn a spot in the Big 12 championship game for the fifth consecutive year.
OSU toppled No. 1 Oklahoma in the championship game to secure its first conference tournament championship since winning the Big Eight crown in 1992.
Oklahoma State's defense leads the Big 12 and boasts top national rankings in fielding percentage (fifth – .980) and fewest errors (fourth – 27).
To The Max
The Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and leader in strikeouts, strikeouts per seven innings and shutouts, Kelly Maxwell is performing at an All- America level as the ace of the Oklahoma State pitching staff.
In the midst of the best season of her career, she has already set or matched single-season career highs in earned run average, wins, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, strikeouts and opponent batting average.
The Cowgirls' ace is a likely candidate for top 25 program single-season marks in highest strikeouts per seven innings, lowest walks per seven innings, win percentage, victories and complete games.
Maxwell's stellar redshirt junior season has already secured her top 25 single season rankings in shutouts (T-15th – eight) and strikeouts (eighth – 238).
Day & Night
Named the 2022 Big 12 Softball Championship Most Outstanding Player, right-handed pitcher Morgan Day is playing her best softball when it matters most as the NCAA postseason gets underway.
The graduate senior pitched a complete game against No. 16 Texas, allowing just one run on six hits. She played a crucial role in defeating Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship, pitching five innings in relief, allowing just one run on three hits to earn her second win of the weekend.
In 12.0 innings pitched at the Big 12 tournament, she did not give up a walk and allowed only nine hits and two runs and limited opposing batters to a .200 average.
The midweek starter for much of the season who was thrown into the role as weekend starter following an injury to Miranda Elish, Day sports a 2.52 ERA with 97 strikeouts through 86.0 innings of work on the year with six complete games. She is holding opponents to a .197 batting average.