In the first meeting with the North Texas Eagles in February, the Oklahoma State University softball team had no trouble in an eight-run victory.
Wednesday at Cowgirl Stadium, the Cowgirls stranded eight runners in a 4-3 loss.
The loss snapped a 12-game winning streak and a seven-game home winning streak.
In the first three innings, the Cowgirls had runners in scoring position including the bases loaded in the bottom of the first.
“We were getting leadoffs on and getting to second, just weren’t getting hits to get them through to score,” coach Rich Wieligman said. “We were playing well and, shoot, this was one of those nights we didn’t.”
Brittany Simmons, who came in relief for the Eagles during the Feb. 15 game, started Wednesday and held Oklahoma State to three hits through the first six innings. Oklahoma State won 8-0 in February but Wieligman said the different pitcher wasn’t the reason for his team’s struggles.
“We didn’t have good at-bats tonight,” Wieligman said. “They got to come out and be a little better focused and be able to do their job. It wasn’t a good night.”
North Texas took the lead with a two-out rally in the top of the third. With one out, Madison Tierney singled. After a foul out, Oklahoma State pitcher Kat Espinosa hit Paige Kisling. Jordan Terry followed a single to left center, scoring Tierney. Danielle Hoff followed with a single, making it 2-0.
In the fourth inning, it looked like the Cowgirls were going to let another opportunity slip as Shelby Davis reached on an error and stole second. A sacrifice bunt moved her to third. On a ground ball by Gessenia DeLaCruz, Davis was thrown out at home, leaving the Cowgirls with a runner at first. Senior Tamara Brown made sure the Cowgirls didn’t leave empty handed as she hit a two-run home run to left field to tie the game.
The Eagles (15-12) responded the next inning. Oklahoma State pulled Espinosa after she got the first out and put in Simone Freeman. Brooke Foster led off with a double. Terry struck again, this time with a home run to left field that all OSU’s left fielder Brown could do was watch. Wieligman said they intended on putting Freeman in.
“With the mid-week games, we’ve been splitting games trying to give them a different look,” Wieligman said.
The Cowgirls rallied with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, as Tarah Ettinger doubled to right and Samantha Chrisman followed with an RBI single to center to score Shianne Hughes, who pinch ran for Ettinger. The late push ended when Tiffany Mikkelson struck out. Wieligman said they need to move on.
“The sun comes up tomorrow, we get on a bus and play New Mexico,” Wieligman said. “We don’t do anything different. It wasn’t our night tonight. We will show up and play a doubleheader Friday.”
ANDREW GLOVER is a sports reporter for the Stillwater NewsPress.