The No. 10/7 Oklahoma State softball team (21-6) opens Big 12 Conference play this weekend with Texas Tech in a three-game home series. Games are slated for Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at noon.
Watch, Listen, Follow
Oklahoma State's games on Saturday and Sunday can be streamed on ESPN+ with Casey Kendrick and Alison McCutcheon on the call.
All three games can be heard on Stillwater Radio Networks at stillwaterradio.net and 105.5 KGFY with Bill Van Ness.
Live stats will be available online on okstate.statbroadcast.com. Fans can follow @CowgirlSB on Twitter all season for regular coverage and updates.
In the Rankings
As of March 21, Oklahoma State ranks:
• No. 7 in the USA Today/NFCA DI Top 25 Coach Poll
• No. 10 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25
• No. 11 in D1Softball's Top 25
• No. 12 in SoftballAmerica's NCAA Division I Softball Top 25
• No. 12 in NCAA DI Rating Percentage Index
• No. 17 in NCAA DI Strength of Schedule
Oklahoma State From a Distance
Eight starters and several other important performers are back from the 2021 team that finished No. 6 in the final rankings and played in the Women's College World Series. Five of OSU's returning starters
were also starters on the Cowgirls' 2019 WCWS team.
Some of the most decorated players in Oklahoma State softball history are back, including returning All-Americans Hayley Busby and Sydney Pennington, plus 2022 preseason All-American Kiley Naomi. Pitcher Kelly Maxwell is on the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List and was invited to try out for a spot on the U.S. Senior National Team in January.
Impact newcomers include the 2020 Shortened Season National Player of the Year and first team All-American Miranda Elish, 2022 preseason All-America first baseman Morgyn Wynne, 2021 first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference pitcher Morgan Day and 2021 All-Southeast Region catcher Julia Cottrill.
Notable Streaks and Trends
• The Cowgirls have won eight straight and 12 of their last 13 against Texas Tech.
• OSU hasn't lost to Texas Tech in Stillwater since 2015.
• The Cowgirls have won 15 of their last 17 overall, with six of those wins coming in run-rule fashion.
• The Cowgirls have hit at least one home run in 10 of their last 11 games.
• OSU has tallied 10 or more hits in seven of its last 10 games.
• OSU has committed zero errors in seven of its last nine games.
• Cowgirl pitchers have combined to strike out 27 and walk only seven in their last 17.0 innings of work.
• Sydney Pennington has started 234 consecutive games, which amounts to every game of her career.
• Kelly Maxwell has tallied double digit strikeouts in seven of her last 10 starts.
• Miranda Elish has limited the opposition to one run on five hits in her last 20 innings of work. She has struck out 26 against only three walks in that same span.
• Katelynn Carwile has at least one hit in 10 of her last 11 games. During that span, her batting average has risen nearly 200 points from .238 to .429.
• Brianna Evans has reached base in 12 straight games, dating back to March 4.
• OSU boasts an 8-1 record in games played at Cowgirl Stadium in 2022 – including a seven-game win streak – and has outscored its opponents, 60-16, at home.
• OSU has held 11 of its last 13 opponents to three runs or less and has held opponents scoreless five times during that stretch.
• The Cowgirls have been ranked in the NFCA poll in each of their last 169 games, dating back to the start of the 2019 season.
Series History vs. This Week's Opponents
OSU leads its all-time series with Texas Tech, 47-24, including a 21-7 record in games played in Stillwater. Heading into the weekend, the Cowgirls ride an active eight-game win streak against the Red Raiders dating back to March 31, 2018.
At the reigns of Cowgirl softball, Kenny Gajewski boasts a 12-4 record against Texas Tech and remains undefeated against the Red Raiders in home games as head coach at OSU.
Most recently against Texas Tech, on April 11, 2021, the Cowgirls completed the regular season series sweep with a 10-3 victory behind the arm of Carrie Eberle and multiple-hit performances from Hayley Busby and Alysen Febrey.
With no-hitters in two of her last three starts, Miranda Elish has been dominant of late.
The right-hander from Crown Point, Indiana held Minnesota hitless and surrendered only one walk in OSU's 7-0 win over the Gophers on March 9. She came back on March 18 to no-hit Wichita State as part of an 8-0 Cowgirl victory.
Heading into its first conference series of the year with Texas Tech, OSU's win percentage (.778) ranks it fifth among all NCAA DI program's whose strength of schedule ranks within the top 20; only No. 1/1 Oklahoma, No. 5/5 Virginia Tech, No. 13/7 Duke and No. 12/12 Oregon boast a higher win percentage with a top-20 strength of schedule.
Perhaps the hottest bat in the Oklahoma State lineup, sophomore Katelynn Carwile has at least one hit in 10 of her last 11 games. During that span, her batting average has risen nearly 200 points from .238 to .429.
On the year, she leads the team in batting average (.429) and doubles (7), is tied first for hits (24) with veteran Sydney Pennington, and ranks top five among all Cowgirls in runs (13), total bases (37), slugging percentage (.661) and on-base percentage (.467).
To The Max
Kelly Maxwell continues to prove why she's among the best arms in the country. The lefty has tallied a 9-0 record through the season's first five weeks. With an ERA at 1.21, 12 earned runs allowed and 121 strikeouts – which ranks her 15th in the country – Maxwell has performed to her All-America potential.
Freshman Brianna Evans, a day one starter at second base and a fixture in the top half of the OSU lineup, has bounced back tremendously after an injury in week three kept her out of a handful of the Cowgirls' non-conference games.
She boasts a .389 average with 14 runs scored and 21 hits, the most notable among them being a grand slam she crushed on March 12 against Central Arkansas, which marked the first home run of her collegiate career and the sixth grand slam by a freshman in team history.
Evans owns the Cowgirls' longest active reached-base streak (12) and although not active, she also boasts the team's longest hit streak of the season (11).
OSU Softball Gears Up For Big 12 Play
March 24, 2022 by OSU Athletics