OSU Tulsa Invitational Notes

The Basics
The No. 3/3 Oklahoma State softball team rides an active 11-game win streak into its 2023 home opener – the OSU/Tulsa Invitational – from March 3-5 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

OSU begins its home stand Friday, with games against Maine at 2:30 p.m. CT and No. 24/23 Missouri at 5 p.m. CT. On Saturday, the Cowgirls take on South Dakota State and Tarleton State, and 2:30 p.m. CT and 5 p.m. CT, respectively. In its fifth and final game of the weekend, OSU plays South Dakota State a second time at 12:30 p.m. CT on Sunday.
Watch, Listen, Follow
Oklahoma State’s game with No. 24/23 Missouri can be streamed on ESPN+ with Casey Kendrick and Ali McCutcheon on the call.

Each of Oklahoma State’s games over the weekend can be heard on stillwaterradio.net with Bill Van Ness on the call. The Cowgirls’ games on Friday and Sunday are set for 105.5 KGFY, and fans can tune into 101.1 KVRO for Oklahoma State’s games on Saturday.

Live stats for all of Oklahoma State’s games are available online at statbroadcast.com.

Fans can follow @cowgirlsb on Twitter all season for regular coverage and updates

In The Rankings
As of February 27, Oklahoma State ranks:
• No. 3 in the USA Today/NFCA DI Top 25 Coaches Poll
• No. 3 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25
• No. 3 in the Softball America NCAA Division I Softball Top 25
• No. 3 in the D1Softball Top 25

Oklahoma State From a Distance
Six starters are back from a 2022 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 mCraig, Katie Lott, Lexi McDonald and Claire Timm round out the 20th ranked signing class in the
country, per Extra Inning Softball.

Notable Streaks and Trends
• OSU has been ranked in the NFCA poll in each of its past 217 games, dating back to the start of the 2019 season.
• In a five-game stretch at the Troy Cox Classic and at UTEP, OSU elevated its team batting average from .357 to .394 (second in NCAA DI), its team on-base percentage from .460 to .483 (second in 
NCAA DI) and its team slugging percentage from .634 to .670 (second in NCAA DI).
• With 23 home runs through its first 14 games of 2023, OSU is hitting 1.64 home runs per game, which ranks third in NCAA DI.
• OSU has outscored its opponents 119-38 through its first 14 games of 2023.
• OSU has run-ruled seven of its last 10 opponents.
• OSU has totaled double-digit runs in nine of its last 10 games.
• OSU has tallied double-digit hits in eight of its last 10 games, including each of its last six.
• OSU has posted six shutouts in 2023, which ranks tied-fifth in NCAA DI.
• OSU has hit at least one home run in nine of its last 10 contests.
• Tallen Edwards, Rachel Becker and Katelynn Carwile have all reached base safely at least once in each of the Cowgirls’ first 14 games of 2023.
• Rachel Becker has pieced together a 13-game hitting streak – the team’s longest active streak and the longest by any Cowgirl this season – dating back to February 11 vs. North Carolina.

Series History
Against the Maine Black Bears, the Cowgirls own a 3-0 series lead; all three Oklahoma State wins have come during the Gajewski era, the most recent being a 8-0 OSU victory in Stillwater in 2018.

Oklahoma State leads the all-time series with former Big 12 foe Missouri, 58-42. With Gajewski at the helm, the Cowgirls are 2-1 against the Tigers. Last time out, Missouri bested Oklahoma State, 3-2, in a 2020 neutral site contest.

OSU takes on South Dakota State for the first time since 2006. The meeting renews a series history that favors the Pokes, 2-0.

Oklahoma State and Tarleton State will meet for just the second time this weekend. The Cowgirls’ claimed a 12-4 run-rule victory in the first meeting between the two teams in a 2021 neutral site contest.

Offensive Explosion
The Oklahoma State offense has positioned itself among the elite through the first three weeks of the 2023 season.

As a team, the Cowgirls enter the weekend with a plethora of top-10 statistical rankings:
• .394 batting average (second in NCAA DI).
• .483 on-base percentage (second in NCAA DI).
• .670 slugging percentage (second in NCAA DI).
• 147 hits (tied-fifth in NCAA DI).
• 23 home runs (tied-fourth in NCAA-DI).
• 1.64 home runs per game (third in NCAA DI).
• 8.50 runs per game (fourth in NCAA DI).
• 250 total bases (sixth in NCAA DI).

Leading the way for the Cowgirls on offense, graduate infielder Rachel Becker is averaging .579 at the plate, which ranks her first in the Big 12 Conference and fourth in NCAA DI.

Including Becker, Oklahoma State has five hitters averaging .400 or better: Tallen Edwards (.442), Katelynn Carwile (.410), Kiley Naomi (.410) and Chyenne Factor (.400).