STILLWATEROkla.The No. 18 Oklahoma State softball team continues its winning ways with a 7-5 win over Northern Iowa on Wednesday evening at Cowgirl Stadium. The Cowgirls improve to 22-6 on the season and swept the two-game series with the Panthers.
The Panthers (11-11) got on the board first when Megan Machovec led off the game with a walk. She advanced to second on a hit by Jen Larsen and scored on another hit from Livi Abney. Courtney Dunker scored the second run for UNI when she led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to center field.
The Cowgirls responded in the bottom of the fourth with six runs of their own. Freshman Amy Graham led off the inning with a double to left field. She moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Megan Castle and scored when sophomore Chelsea Garcia hit her first home run of the season over the left field wall.
Kelsey Anchors followed with a walk, Mariah Gearhart hit a bunt single and Anchors scored on a double from Katelyn Bright. Gearhart scored on a fielder’s choice hit by Alysia Hamilton and Julie Ward got her 38th RBI of the season as she hit the ball to right field to score Bright. After advancing on a passed ball, Hamilton scored on a sacrifice fly by Tamara Brown.
Northern Iowa tried to rally in the fifth inning as the designated player, Eranne Daugharthy hit a three-run home run to make the score 6-5. However OSU senior Anna Whiddon entered the game and shut down the Panthers bats.
The Cowgirls final run came when Castle hit a double to lead off the fifth and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Anchors.
Freshman Kat Espinosa started in the circle for the Cowgirls. She threw 4.2 innings, giving up five runs off eight hits while walking one and striking out nine. She picked up the win and improves to 7-2. Whiddon came in during the fifth inning and finished the game. She threw the final two and 1/3 innings, allowed one hit and struck out four. She picked up her second save of the season and is now the OSU career leader in saves with nine.
Oklahoma State will travel to Florida this weekend to play in the USF-The Game Tournament in Tampa. OSU will face Dartmouth andMaryland on Friday morning, Florida Gulf Coast and South Florida on Saturday and No. 21 Illinois on Sunday.