Stillwater News Press

OSU Sports

May 9, 2014

Cowgirls hope to end on high note against Bedlam rivals

STILLWATER, Okla. — The last time Oklahoma State softball faced Bedlam rival Oklahoma, pretty much epitomizes the year in a nutshell — close, but not close enough.

“If we had gotten a couple breaks, and the way we pitched against them, we can win,” Cowgirl coach Rich Wieligman said. “The girls have to know that to go down there and lose 2-0 and we hit the ball better than them. ... They’ve got to know that we just have to catch a few breaks and that’s been our whole story all year.”

The Cowgirls matched the Sooners for much of the game, but ultimately lost when OU got a solo home run and an awkward hop to second base. It’s one of 11 games against RPI top 30 teams that were decided by two runs or less — with OSU (26-26, 5-11 in Big 12) coming out on the winning side in just three of them.

“The breaks haven’t gone our way a lot of times. Half of our losses are one-run losses,” Wieligman said. “And over half of those losses are actually to top 25 RPI teams. So when you put that into perspective, we’re playing with the best and we’ve just got to catch some breaks and get the momentum.”

The Bedlam rivalry will heat back up Saturday in Stillwater at 1 p.m., with the season finale being at 2 p.m. Sunday in Norman.

“They know they are right there, but then they sit there and ‘Man, what else can we do to get over that hump? What else is there to do?’” the Cowgirl coach said. “... It doesn’t have to be a picture-perfect swing, a picture-perfect pitch, it’s just a matter of getting something to go our way, that before didn’t go our way.”

Prior to the first pitch Saturday, Oklahoma State will recognize seniors Shannon Kaufman, Tarah Ettinger, Ari Morrison and Simone Freeman — which is the last class that was a part of the 2011 team that reached the Women’s College World Series.

“They’ve brought a good work ethic this year, they’ve worked hard,” Wieligman said. “Sometimes you don’t reach your goals, and I know their goals were high in what they wanted to do, and it shows you how close we were to getting their goals by all those one-run games. It wasn’t like we didn’t compete.

“They’ve competed all year, and have done everything I’ve asked of them, it just hasn’t gone our way. ... It’s been unfortunate that we haven’t had the success that I know they want. But they’ve continued to show up and fight and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”

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