Softball falls to Oklahoma State for the third time this season


Rachel Rudisill

Senior Neleigh Herring cheers for freshman Krystin Nelson after advancing her to second base. Herring was the only Shocker to earn a run against OSU on Apr. 6 in Wilkins Stadium.

In front of a sold-out crowd at Wilkins Stadium, Shocker softball battled with No. 6 Oklahoma State for the third time this season, but ultimately the Cowgirls walked away from Wichita with a 4-1 victory.

Head Coach Kristi Bredbenner said Wednesday night’s matchup was one of the Shockers best defensive games all season compared to the Shockers performance against OSU in the Mizuno Classic in March. 

“You know I think that was the biggest difference is the pitching,” Head Coach Kristi Bredbenner said. “The defense I thought we had some good clutch defensive plays. You know hitting wise we’ve gotta attack eary.” 

OSU attacked early by hitting a solo home run in the top of the first inning. However, senior pitcher Erin McDonald responded by stranding a runner in the second and shutting the Cowgirls out in the third. 

 “You know she had good command,” Bredbenner said. “Got a lot of swings and misses. Had quite a few strikeouts which is good to see because we are going to have to have that this weekend.” 

Despite McDonald’s strong performance in the circle, the Shockers struggled offensively throughout, and didn’t start clicking until the fifth inning. Senior Neleigh Herring scored off an OSU throwing error to make it a 2-1 game. 

“We’ve gotta find some ways to score more runs early in the game and I thought we settled in and had some much better at-bats the second half, but I thought the first half we’re a better team and we could have been able to hit the ball a little bit better than that,” Bredbenner said. 

OSU finally got some more at-bats in the sixth and seventh against McDonald to seal the win. The Shockers’ strong hitting performance in the second half of the game helped them strive toward a comeback in the seventh. 

Freshman Krystin Nelson hit a single through the left side with one out left to start pushing towards the top of the lineup. With the bases finally loaded, sophomore Addison Barnard, the nation’s top home run hitter, reached on a fielder’s choice, however OSU threw the Shockers out at third. 

Nelson’s key at bat in the seventh proved to Bredbenner what kind of potential Nelson has. Nelson also had several strong defensive plays at third base.

 “I thought you know I mean she’s a freshman and she’s really taken advantage of the opportunities that she’s getting to experience and seeing her make those plays against a good team to me is showing that she’s getting better,” Bredbenner said. 

The Shockers will head to Tampa, Florida on Friday to play a conference series with USF over the weekend. USF’s pitching staff is home to Georgina Corrick who is currently one of the nations top pitchers in college softball. Corrick has 14 shutouts and an ERA of 0.42 so far this season. 

“You know regardless of what that game plan is, we’ve done enough research as a coaching staff,” Bredbenner said. We know what to expect. We know she’s one of the best pitchers in the country. You know we just have to stick with our game plan and trust it.”