By Jason Elmquist
CNHI News Service
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The offense from early in the season for the Oklahoma State softball squad has gone missing with the start of the Big 12 Conference slate.
Despite getting a sub-2.00 ERA from senior pitcher Simone Freeman, OSU’s offense hasn’t given her any run support — the latest resulting in a 2-0 loss to Iowa State Friday night at Cowgirl Softball Stadium.
“We’re just not hitting good pitches. We’re not swinging at pitches that we can hit, we’re swinging at pitches off the plate and up out of the zone,” Cowgirl coach Rich Wieligman said. “We’re just not hitting. They are forgetting what their job is at the plate and they need to figure it out.”
Oklahoma State has scratched just one run across the plate in its five conference games — well off its season average that has now dipped to 4.3 run per game.
The biggest trouble for the OSU offense Friday was themselves. The Cowgirls hit into two double plays, and it nearly happened a third time in the bottom of the seventh. They stranded eight runners in the loss, which matches their season average for runners left aboard per game.
“I think they are trying too hard. They need to relax and just play the game and understand what they need to do,” Wieligman said. “It’s snowballed on them a little bit and they’ve got to stop the snowball and regroup.”
Also hindering the Cowgirls has been struggles by the defense behind Freeman.
With OSU still trailing by just one going to the seventh inning, a throwing error with the bases loaded allowed the Cyclones to get an insurance run in the final inning.
The unearned run was the 14th of the year with Freeman in the circle — and 24th for the team as a whole.
“Really, we shouldn’t have given up those runs,” Wieligman said. “We shouldn’t have a passed ball, or a wild pitch, for them to score that first one. Then we should have had that out at home on a force play — that was routine, a routine play that we’ve got to make.”
The Cowgirls will look to end their five-game losing streak with another battle against Iowa State at noon Saturday — with the series finale scheduled for noon Sunday.