STILLWATER – Stellar pitching and elite-level defense led the way as the No. 6 national seed Oklahoma State Softball team held Wichita State scoreless, 6-0, Saturday afternoon at Cowgirl Stadium.
With the win, OSU improved to 43-14, while WSU fell to 44-11. The Cowgirls find out their next opponent at the conclusion of today’s games; game six of the 2023 NCAA Stillwater Regional is set for 3 p.m. CT.
Oklahoma State extended its NCAA Regional winning streak to 11 games with the win today, all of which have happened at the NCAA Stillwater Regional.
With today’s shutout of Wichita State, the Cowgirls have now started NCAA postseason play with back-to-back shutouts for the first time since Sandy Fischer led the Pokes to three shutout victories in a row during the 1998 NCAA Stillwater Regional.
Lexi Kilfoyl earned the start today, going 6.0 shutout innings and only giving up four hits, improving to 13-5 on the season.
The senior right-hander immediately set the tone for the game by striking out the side in order in the first inning, three of her six strikeouts against the Shockers.
The Cowgirls plated a run in the first inning for the 27th time this season.
Rachel Becker’s 21st double of the season opened the inning for OSU, followed by a bunt single from Chyenne Factor. Graduate senior Kiley Naomi drove home Becker with an RBI groundout to put the Pokes on the scoreboard.
Following a pair of strikeouts from Kilfoyl in the fourth, OSU extended its lead in their half of the inning.
Three consecutive singles from the Cowgirls scored two runs, as Katelynn Carwile and Morgyn Wynne each tallied an RBI. Taylor Tuck rounded out the three-run fourth with an RBI single of her own.
Wichita State threatened for the first time in the fifth inning, as the Shockers found themselves with the bases-loaded and the NCAA DI active leader in hits and at bats, Sydney McKinney, at the plate.
McKinney lasered one over to third baseman Megan Bloodworth, who made an impressive leaping snag to secure the third out and get the Cowgirls out of the jam unscathed.
The Pokes added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth and sixth inning, as Micaela Wark and Bloodworth each tallied an RBI to extend the lead to 6-0.
Freshman Kyra Aycock entered in relief in the seventh inning and took care of business to secure the shutout win.
Oklahoma State has outscored its opponents in the NCAA Stillwater Regional 15-0, including a run-rule victory over UMBC on Friday.
Wichita State was held scoreless for just the fourth time this season, and the Cowgirls victory marked their first ranked shutout since March 25, against then-No. 20 Baylor.
As a team, the Cowgirls of 2023 have moved into the top-three of the team single-season record books in hits (493), RBI (328) and runs scored (347).
With today’s victory, coach Kenny Gajewski improved his head coaching record in the Regional round of the NCAA DI Softball Championship to 17-6.