By Jason Elmquist
Stillwater News Press
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Simone Freeman couldn’t find the magic she had in Friday’s series opener against Baylor.
With Oklahoma State looking to win the series against the 14th-ranked Bears, Oklahoma State’s ace had three pitches that proved to be the deciding factor in an 8-0 run-rule loss Saturday at the Cowgirl Softball Stadium.
“They were hitting mistakes and we were making them,” Cowgirl coach Rich Wieligman said. “That hurts. Their pitching staff is tough ... and we can’t give up those kinds of runs. We talked about how we had to win it 1-0, 2-1 type game and just didn’t happen today.”
All eight of Baylor’s runs came from home runs, with the first two given up by the OSU senior ace coming with two outs in the inning.
The first came in the top of the third after the first two batters reached base on singles. Freeman got the next two batters to pop out before Jordan Strickland sent a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall. Strickland would hit her second homer of the game — and fourth of the series — two innings later to give her five RBIs for the game and 12 for the series.
“We’ve got to find a way to put them away and it just didn’t go our way today,” Wieligman said.
Before Strickland’s second shot deep — which effectively ended the day for Freeman with seven runs (all earned) on eight hits and two walks — Baylor got a two-run blast by Kaitlyn Thumann on a 2-2 count with two outs in the fourth inning.
While the Bears were batting the ball around the park, the Cowgirls couldn’t get much of anything going at the plate. Oklahoma State scattered three hits through the first three innings before BU pitcher Whitney Canion held them hitless the final three innings.
“She was a different pitcher today than she was on Friday, as well as she pitched on Friday she was even better today,” Wieligman said of Baylor’s ace, who struck out 11 batters.
OSU freshman pitcher Meagan Lively gave up Baylor’s fourth home run to the first batter she faced coming in to start the top of the sixth. The solo shot was enough to invoke the eight-run mercy rule after the Cowgirls went down in the order in the bottom of the inning.
Oklahoma State’s schedule the rest of the way doesn’t get any easier. Each of OSU’s remaining four opponents in the top 35 of the RPI, with the next game being Wednesday against Tulsa, which is ranked 20th.
“It’s not going to get any easier for us. If we start worrying about what we did (Friday) and what we did (Saturday), then the next games are just going to beat us up even worse,” Wieligman said. “We’ve got to get over this and move on. That’s the big point I’ve got to make to them —it’s ok, it’s done, not let’s go beat Tulsa. We’re a good enough team to, we’ve just got to have things go our way.”