No. 2/2 Oklahoma State (25-2) hosts North Texas (19-9) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT at Cowgirl Stadium before welcoming No. 20/22 Baylor (22-5) to Stillwater for the Cowgirls' Big 12 Conference opening series from March 24-26.
Oklahoma State's series opener with Baylor on Friday is set for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch. Saturday, the Cowgirls and Bears face off at 2 p.m. CT; the series concludes Sunday with first pitch set for 12 p.m. CT.
Watch, Listen, Follow
Select games during Oklahoma State's four-game week six slate can be streamed on ESPN+ with Casey Kendrick and Ali McCutcheon on the call:
• Wednesday, March 22 versus North Texas.
• Saturday, March 25 versus Baylor.
• Sunday, March 26 versus Baylor.
Each of Oklahoma State's games can be heard on stillwaterradio.net or The Varsity Network with Bill Van Ness on the call.
Live stats for all of Oklahoma State's games are available online at statbroadcast.com.
Fans can follow @cowgirlsb on Twitter for regular in-game coverage and updates.
In The Rankings
As of March 20, Oklahoma State ranks:
• No. 2 in the USA Today/NFCA DI Top 25 Coaches Poll.
• No. 2 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25.
• No. 2 in the D1Softball Top 25.
• No. 3 in the Softball America NCAA Division I Softball Top 25.
• No. 3 in the NCAA DI Adjusted Rating Percentage Index
Oklahoma State From A Distance
Six starters are back from a 2022 Oklahoma State team that put together a 40-win season, which ended at the Women's College World Series for an NCAA era program record third consecutive year. Five of OSU's returning starters were also starters on the Cowgirls' 2021 WCWS team and two of them started for OSU during its 2019 WCWS appearance.
Returning for the Cowgirls are All-Americans Kelly Maxwell and Katelynn Carwile, as well as a pair of graduate veterans and All-Big 12 regulars Chyenne Factor and Kiley Naomi.
Impact newcomers include two-time All-Big Ten honoree and All-American infielder Rachel Becker, All-SEC Newcomer and All-Region pitcher Lexi Kilyfoyl and 2022 NFCA DI Freshman of the Year finalist Megan Bloodworth.
A talented freshman class – including six members of the Extra Inning Softball Elite 100 – enter the mix. Tallen Edwards (No. 3 overall), Haidyn Sokoloski (No. 17 overall) and Kyra Aycock (No. 26 overall)
are all likely candidates to see meaningful playing time in their first year with the Cowgirls. Angelina Craig, Katie Lott, Lexi McDonald and Claire Timm round out the 20th ranked signing class in the country, per Extra Inning Softball.
Notable Streaks & Trends
• OSU has been ranked in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Poll in each of its last 230 games, dating back to the start of the 2019 season.
• OSU has claimed five of the 10 Big 12 Conference weekly honors awarded this season.
• OSU has outscored its opponents 199-60.
• OSU has outscored its opponents 49-3 in the first inning.
• OSU has outhit its opponents in 25 of its 27 games this season.
• OSU has scored first in 21 of its 27 contests this season.
• OSU has committed zero errors in 19 of its 27 games this season.
• OSU has earned 10 of its 25 wins this season via run-rule.
• OSU has blasted at least one home run in 16 of its 27 games this season, including each of its last three games; on nine occasions, the Cowgirls' have combined for two or more home runs.
• Rachel Becker has reached base safely at least once in each of the Cowgirls' 27 games this season.
• Kelly Maxwell has recorded 113 of the Cowgirls pitching staff's 210 strikeouts this season, which equates to 53.8 percent of Oklahoma State's strikeouts.
• Kelly Maxwell has recorded 113 strikeouts in 62.1 innings pitched, which equates to 12.7 strikeouts per seven innings and 1.8 strikeouts per inning.
In its all-time series with North Texas, Oklahoma State owns a 22-7 lead, including each of the nine meetings. In their most recent game with the Mean Green, on May 22, 2022, the Pokes claimed a 2-0 victory at Cowgirl Stadium to complete their sweep of the 2022 NCAA Stillwater Regional.
Against Big 12 Conference foe Baylor, OSU leads the all-time series 45-33, including a 23-11 record in games played in Stillwater. The Cowgirls have swept the Bears in each of the last two conference series by a combined score of 35-7.
Oklahoma State has positioned itself among the elite through the first five weeks of the 2023 season. OSU enters into its midweek versus North Texas with a plethora of top-10 statistical rankings:
• .356 batting average (sixth in NCAA DI).
• .453 on-base percentage (fifth in NCAA DI).
• .982 fielding percentage (fourth in NCAA DI).
• 7.37 runs per game (sixth in NCAA DI).
• 12 shutouts (sixth in NCAA DI).
• .926 win percentage (fourth in NCAA DI).
Becker's Batting Bonanza
Graduate infielder Rachel Becker has played at an All-American caliber in her first season at Oklahoma State and the final season of her collegiate career.
Her .656 on-base percentage leads all NCAA DI hitters, while her .535 batting average ranks second in NCAA DI. Becker also pieced together an 18-game hitting streak – the longest by any Cowgirl this season – from February 11 to March 5, which is the second-most consecutive games with at least one hit in program history, behind freshman Taylor Lynch's 23-game hitting streak in 2016.