By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
What was originally supposed to be an easy one-game week for the Oklahoma State softball team when the schedule was made has turned into an important week for the Cowgirls.
OSU will take on No. 25 Tulsa on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Cowgirl Softball Stadium before traveling to Wichita State for a doubleheader on Thursday — to make up a pair of games that had been rained out.
“Getting to pick up both games with Wichita State was big. Getting those games canceled two weeks in a row, and then coming back and still getting to play them is big,” OSU coach Rich Wieligman said.
The week comes at a good time for the Cowgirls, who are coming off a series win over Big 12 Conference opponent Kansas. Taking two games from the Jayhawks helped OSU push its conference record to 4-8.
“I love the way they fought this weekend. It was tough the previous week at Baylor — we fought hard but couldn’t come away with a win,” Wieligman said. “Then this weekend to win two of three and the way they fought, especially on Sunday to fight back and then come through in the seventh when things got a little hairy. I liked our poise and composure.”
Now the Cowgirls get a break from the grind of Big 12 Conference play with the non-conference, regional rival matches.
“They are good midweek games that get you away from Big 12 play but they keep you prepared for Big 12 play,” Wieligman said. “Tulsa is a top 25 team and it’s just keeping us sharp for the weekends.”
The last time the Cowgirls took on Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane got out ahead of OSU early and rode the pitching of Lacey Middlebrooks and Aimee Creger to a 5-1 victory in which Oklahoma State garnered just four hits.
“Tulsa doesn’t change from year to year, you know what you are going to get from them. They are always going to be able to pitch it well and they just play for seven innings,” the OSU coach said. “They don’t have a lot of momentum shifts, they just play at a certain level the whole game. You’ve got to make some big plays against them and they don’t beat themselves. You have to play a good game and come up with some clutch hits against them.”
Thursday’s doubleheader in Wichita, Kan., is slated to start at 5 p.m. against the Shockers (16-24, 7-9 Missouri Valley Conference).