OSU spring sports making the year memorable

Jason Elmquist/Stillwater News Press The Oklahoma State women's tennis team is one of many squads this spring to have successful seasons and keep Oklahoma State in the national conversation.

The wait was worth it.

After the relative disappointments of the fall and winter Oklahoma State sports teams this year, the spring squads are making up for them and more.

With history-making performances from the baseball, softball, women’s tennis and men’s golf teams, times have almost never been better to be an OSU fan.

But before anyone could celebrate these accomplishments, they had to suffer through the misfortunes of the teams that play during the colder months.

As with every season, hopes were high for the football team to start the 2018-19 season. Although the story of the season can only receive justice in a book the size of “War and Peace,” things didn’t go to plan. There were some big victories, but if anyone needs to be reminded of why they still have a bad taste in their mouth from the season, then go back and watch the Kansas State game. The TCU game was another good example. Let’s not forget about the Texas Tech game, either.

While football was struggling, so was its fall counterpart in women’s soccer. The Cowgirls were coming off of a 2017 Big 12 championship, only for injuries to slam them in 2018. The lack of depth hurt them all year, and they missed the postseason for the first time since 2005.

OSU fans then turned their attention to winter teams, hoping it would rid them of the poor memories of the fall.

Little did they know, it would be just as disappointing.

Mike Boynton’s men’s basketball squad faced adversity from the onset, at times playing with seven players. In almost every game, the Cowboys were outmatched in depth, which haunted them in the final minutes every time. They limped to a 12-20 record and missed the postseason.

Jim Littell’s women’s basketball team didn’t fare much better, struggling with consistency throughout the year on its way to a 14-16 mark without a postseason appearance for the first time in more than a decade.

With every team being somewhat of a bust, at least there was the wrestling team to fall back on. At least, that is what most people thought. Despite going undefeated in its dual schedule, John Smith’s group fell by the way of disappointment by failing to bring home an almost expected national championship and no individual titles.

For OSU, what could go wrong in the fall and winter seasons did go wrong.

There was one last set of teams to turn it all around, though. One last chance to make the year worth it. Without a doubt, those teams have delivered.

Cowgirl softball has been on a run for the ages, hosting and winning regionals after tough victories against Tulsa and BYU, then traveling to Tallahassee to knock off the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles in super regionals. The Cowgirls are headed their first Women’s College World Series since 2011, and have posted 17 comeback victories this season. That speaks to the heart of this team Kenny Gajewski has put together, and they’re not done yet.

Not to be outdone, the baseball team capped off the never-ending Big 12 tournament with a big victory against West Virginia to gain its 33rd conference championship. The Cowboys will play host to Nebraska, Connecticut and Harvard in OKC, hoping to have the same success their softball counterparts did in regional competition.

Women’s tennis pulled off big victories against Central Arkansas and the University of Miami to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth time out of the last five seasons. The Cowgirls also gained their fifth-straight 20-win season.

Men’s golf dominated in stroke play at the national championships, but the Cowboys became victim to the match play format Tuesday, just short of a chance at their 12th program championship. Regardless, on Monday, Matthew Wolff became the sixth individual national champion in program history. Despite the close loss in the semifinals, this year was a continuation of greatness on the green.

Times were looking bleak in Stillwater following the fall and winter seasons. It all changed when Samantha Show and her team took the field, Sofia Blanco and her team took the court, Colin Simpson and his team walked onto the diamond and Viktor Hovland, Wolff and their teammates teed off.

Collectively the spring teams have made the past few months unforgettable.

And the wait was worth it.

Sam Henderson is a contributor for the Stillwater News Press and will be heading into his junior year at Oklahoma State University.