By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Weather may come into play for a third-straight week for the Oklahoma State softball squad.
The Cowgirls, who had Wednesday contests against Wichita State canceled the past two weeks, may be looking at a third midweek cancellation this Wednesday with the chance of inclement weather again.
“I think the weather pattern is pushing Wednesdays right now with all this rain. It’s crazy how Oklahoma weather works,” OSU coach Rich Wieligman said. “The one thing you can say is it’s been consistent. The bad weather has been hitting on Wednesdays and that’s about the only thing about it. We hope we can get it in. It’s great to get to play at Hall of Fame in front of the state.”
This time, however, the game will have to be made up. It’s Bedlam in Oklahoma City against No. 1 Oklahoma. As of press time the game was still schedule for a 7 p.m. first pitch at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, though there is expected to be a high chance of severe throughout the day Wednesday.
But if Mother Nature delivers the Cowgirls a reprieve in the Wednesday rainouts, the Cowgirls will face an equally severe opponent in the top-ranked Sooners, who have lost just two games this year.
Making the Sooners so formidable is the presence in the circle. Whether it’s Keilani Ricketts, a 6-foot-2 left-hander who is 20-1 with a 1.10 ERA, or Michell Gascoigne, who is 15-1 with a NCAA-best 0.85 earned run average and is third in the nation in strikes per seven innings at 11.4.
“As tall as she is, she gets a lot closer to the plate when she releases the ball and then on top of that, she’s probably the hardest thrower in the country,” the OSU coach said of Ricketts. “When you combine those two things, and she has good movement and she’s left-handed — I can keep adding things up. It’s a combination of everything she does, she does it really well and is at the top of her game. She’s just tough.”
Wieligman admitted that for his squad to beat a team like Oklahoma it is going to take a “bad day” for OU, while the Cowgirls play at their highest level. That’s something OSU hasn’t necessarily done the past few weeks, having been swept by Iowa State and Baylor where in both series either the pitching and defense or hitting were off.
“It’s going to take a team effort, it’s going to take us getting some breaks and us getting somebody to second and to knock them in while holding them down,” Wieligman said. “We’ve been there before and it’s nothing that we haven’t faced before. We’ve just got to figure out a way to win.”
The Cowgirls are 1-11 all-time against the No. 1 team in the country since the National Fastpitch Coaches Association began keeping track of the poll in 1995. OSU hasn’t had much success against its Bedlam rival of late, either. Dating back to the 2003 season, the Cowgirl program has gone 4-22 against OU with the last victory coming in Stillwater in 2011.