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Three Thoughts on Kansas’ 8-7 Win Over Kansas in the Big 12 Softball Championship

In the final game of the first round of the Big 12 Softball Championship, Kansas pulled off a late comeback to beat OSU, and face Texas in Friday’s semifinal with an 8-7 win over the Oklahoma State Cowgirls

After a lightning delay stalled the game in the fourth inning on day one, day two of the Big 12 Softball Tournament allowed Oklahoma State to regroup and fight their way back into this game.

A four-run fourth inning, highlighted by a three-run home run from Katelynn Carwile, turned the tide in Oklahoma State’s favor, but with the Jayhawks clawing their way back into the game, mixed with Cowgirl errors, Kansas advanced to the second round.

 

Here are three thoughts on the game and what it means for each team going forward.

WEATHER CHANGE

Oklahoma State’s offense came out swinging after restarting the game on Friday morning, putting up four runs in their half of the fourth. But while Oklahoma State surged, the Jayhawks stayed tough and went the distance with the Cowgirls eventually earning the 8-7 victory.

First-Team All Big 12 infielder Rachel Becker, used the delay to her advantage and came out swinging, going 3-4 on the day to support her team high .434 batting average. Becker drove in one RBI, and junior Katelynn Carwile had a three-run bomb to take the lead for the Cowgirls in the fourth, but after giving up four runs to the Jayhawks in the 7th, the Cowgirls struggles continued.

While the weather change came at the perfect time for the Cowgirls, the stoppage of play wasn’t enough to break the slump. The Cowgirls had some hits late but failure to close out has been a consistent narrative for Oklahoma State lately.

 

ERRORS COST OSU

This was a much better outing for Oklahoma State’s offense, however, their defense took a major step back. Senior shortstop Kiley Naomi got picked apart on the defensive side of things today giving the Jayhawks life late in the game.

After a fielding error by Naomi in the sixth, Presley Limbaugh was credited with a double, and as the runners continued to advance, Naomi had an errant throw to third that was dropped, allowing Kansas to put another run on the board.

With the game tied at 6-6, the Jayhawks scored the go-ahead run on a fielding error from Haiden Sokoloski at third base, trying to field a one-hopper off the dirt. The Cowgirls had more errors in the ballgame that added up to hits and opportunities for the Jayhawks in the first round, and with the Cowgirls headed home, Kansas will advance to take on Texas in the second round.

 

DISASTER FOR THE COWGIRLS

With a first-round lost to Kansas, the Cowgirls likely lose their shot at hosting a Super Regional in the NCAA Tournament. With 11 losses in the last 13 games, OSU is in the midst of a meltdown of epic proportions.

The loss hits hard for Oklahoma State, who will now likely be on the road after hosting a regional in Stillwater. That is, if they can win a regional in their current state. In the last several weeks, OSU’s found all kinds of ways to lose games, but it was mostly centered around the offense. Today, it was four costly errors that sent the Cowgirls home early.

Defensively, OSU has been fantastic all season, even during their recent struggles. However, it just feels now that they’ve forgotten how to win games. With a few days to refocus, lets hope they can figure some things out and get back to their winning ways.

For Kansas, they move on with a chance to get back to .500 on the year if they can beat Texas. That game is set for 4:00 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN+.

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