STILLWATER– Oklahoma State had to wait out the rain, but once the skies cleared it poured it on to start its postseason run.
After a three hour rain delay, The 6-seeded Cowgirls made quick work on Friday, starting regional play with a 9-0 victory over UMBC at Cowgirl Stadium.
“It was a really good start. A complete ball game,” OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said. “We needed to limit walks and errors, and it was just a complete game.”
With the win, OSU improves to 42-14, moving to the semifinal game in the Stillwater regional.
UMBC fell to 26-16, and moved to one loss of its season coming to a close.
The rain delay didn’t slow down OSU’s offense as it totaled 12 hits on the Retrievers.
“We were having fun in the team room and just hanging out,” shortstop Kiley Naomi said. “Just trying to get our mindset back on the game.”
OSU had lost 11 of its last 13 coming into Friday’s game, but they showed their old-self against UMBC.
“I was itching to get to the ballpark,” Gajewski said. “I just felt a different, electric feeling. I was ready to get out here and play.”
Kelly Maxwell got the start for the Cowgirls and was electric. She gave up no runs on two hits and 10 strikeouts, taming the Retriever offense from the start.
“I tried to limit those walks and pound the zone,” Maxwell said. “Trying to not be too cute or nibble the corner too much.”
OSU didn’t waste any time in the first inning. Chyenne Factor walked, and Naomi got her to second on her bunt single, setting up an early opportunity for the Cowgirls.
But they couldn’t cash in as Katelynn Carwile and Micaela Wark both got out to end the inning and end any sort of hope of getting out in front early for Oklahoma State.
Tallen Edwards crushed a single to right field to get something going in the second for OSU. Taylor Tuck reached base off a fielding error from UMBC third baseman Emily Riggs, resulting in runners in scoring position for the Cowgirls.
But again OSU couldn’t get them home as Megan Bloodworth hit a line drive that was caught by shortstop Karly Keating. Keating then threw to second, getting Edwards and ending a promising inning for Oklahoma State.
Small ball proved well for the Cowgirls in the third as Rachel Becker and Factor both got on with bunt singles to start the inning.
Carwile got one home, hitting a two-out shot down the right field, scoring Becker and putting OSU up 1-0.
Maxwell continued to deal in the fourth, pushing her strikeout total to nine and controlling the Retriever offense.
Edwards started the fourth off right for Oklahoma State with another lead-off single to right field. Tuck got her to second off her sacrifice bunt, setting up a big spot for Bloodworth.
Bloodworth delivered, hitting a RBI-double to the center field wall, scoring Edwards and increasing the OSU lead to 2-0.
Namoi kept the party going, hitting a two RBI-triple, scoring Becker and Bloodworth and pushing the OSU lead to 4-0.
Wark said hello after that, hitting a two-run home run over the left field wall, giving OSU the comfortable 6-0 lead.
Morgyn Wynne got the fifth inning started in a big way, hitting a shot to the center field wall, resulting in a lead-off triple for Oklahoma State.
Edwards got her home with her RBI-double to center field, giving the Cowgirls a 7-0 lead.
Naomi called game in the sixth, hitting a two-run home run over the center field wall, securing the victory for OSU.
Oklahoma State advances and will take on the winner of Nebraska and Wichita State on Saturday at 2 p.m.