By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
With his team winning two of three against a top 10 Texas team, Oklahoma State softball coach Rich Wieligman made no arguments to the notion that his Cowgirls are playing their best ball of the season.
“Without a doubt,” Wieligman said. “And you’ve got to go past just playing. You’ve got to go back to practice and how they’ve shown up for practice. Just their whole outlook has been tremendous the past few weeks.”
So what is it for the Cowgirls that has suddenly led to this late surge in which they have won the last three series since being swept in back-to-back series at Iowa State and Baylor?
“Some times it takes a team a while to figure out things and think this is one of those years that they’ve battled themselves almost more than they did the opponent,” Wieligman said. “They figured out that it’s not necessarily the opponent that they are battling, but the game itself and are figuring out how to win that game and let it loose. We’ve had spots all year that we did that, but we weren’t able to do it consistently and I think that we are consistent right now.”
That’s good, because this week doesn’t get any easier for the Cowgirls.
Oklahoma State follows up last weekend’s matchup against a Longhorn squad ranked second in the RPI, with the top-ranked RPI team in Bedlam rival Oklahoma.
“You can’t help but feel good about yourself after taking two of three from Texas and knowing that Texas beat OU,” Wieligman said. “Or knowing we took two of three from Kansas and they beat OU. When you starting putting all that together, they’ve got to have that in the front of their minds and make sure they remember that.”
Though OU proved it isn’t indestructible with a loss Sunday at Kansas, which nearly swept the weather-shortened two-game series, Wieligman said he would have preferred it being his squad that delivered an upset heading into the postseason.
“That was the loss that we wanted to give them because now they’ve kind of woken up that giant a little bit and kicked them. Now they’re going to go out there and prove to the nation where they belong,” the OSU coach said. “We just have to go out there and play and not wake them up any more — just keep them right there and play hard and hope they aren’t woken up and we can catch them.”