Cowgirls look to end season with championship

Jordan Bishop/Stillwater News Press Oklahoma State senior Samantha Show, a Texas A&M transfer, mimes throwing a pitch during Monday’s practice at Cowgirl Stadium.

STILLWATER, Okla. — Samantha Show nearly cried.

The Oklahoma State senior had just received a text from Elise LeBeouf and Sydney Pennington saying she had joined the duo as a Cowgirl captain.

The captain title had been given over the offseason to Pennington, a sophomore, and LeBeouf, a senior, for the first time in coach Kenny Gajewski’s tenure. He initially wanted to give it to Show, the transfer from Texas A&M, and admits it is something she earned when she first walked on campus.

“She has earned it from day one here and never wavered on her commitment and never wavered on her effort, her coaching up her teammates. She has never had a bad day,” Gajewski said.

Show said she has always wanted to have the ‘C’ on her uniform and when Pennington and LeBeouf told her she had earned the honor before the team headed to Clearwater, Florida, last week, it was a culmination of years of hard work.

“It made me tear up, just because that is something that I have wanted for a long time and never actually been on a team where they have given out the C,” Show said. “It is something that I wanted and I have seen other teams have it. Just the respect that I even have for the girls on the other team, knowing that they are the captain. It is just really cool and I haven’t changed. I am the same me and I go out and try to help my team the same way.”

The East Bernard, Texas, right-hander said she understands what it means to be a captain, which is part of the reason Gajewski brought the role to the team this year for players to be leaders on the field and in the dugout.

Gajewski said Show has a way about her that inspires her fellow players, and though she can be a bit too hard sometimes, he said everyone has their faults and that is just the way she carries herself.

“She does her deal,” Gajewski said. “Things might not always go her way and she has some bad moments like everyone. We all have our areas that we have to get stronger in and she has addressed that. She still has some moments where it gets her. I have a hard time faulting kids who want to win. We do some crazy things when you want to win. You will do anything and we need more kids who want to do anything to win. She has led the charge.”

Show said when the Cowgirls (7-3) take the field starting Thursday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, California, she will be the same player she has always been.

“It is not just me having the ‘C’ on my chest, I am trying to help them as captains and they are helping me,” Show said. “We are a group inside the group and trying to explain to everyone what the Cowgirl Way is and that is why we have the C on our chest and trying to set the culture here.”

OSU hasn’t done historically well in the Golden State, but the team looks to change that this week. On the slate is Arizona State, North Carolina, San Diego State, Arizona and Colorado State with both Arizona schools in the top 15 and the Tar Heels receiving votes.

The Cowgirls come in this week at No. 16 in the ESPN poll and No. 20 in the coaches.

Senior second baseman Madi Sue Montgomery said she thinks the team will do better this time around because of the confidence the Cowgirls have. The team showed that this past weekend, where after a shutout loss to Notre Dame, they bounced back in a game against a dangerous Hofstra team that nearly had OSU on the ropes.

Hofstra had bases loaded with no outs when Montgomery was able to turn a double play off of a well-place ball from pitcher Logan Simunek. OSU escaped the inning and then had seven runs on seven hits in the next frame, winning in a run-rule.

“I think it was a good moment and very well-executed pitch by Logan and it was a big moment in that game,” Gajewski said. “We are not sharp like I thought we would be. Final game, all kinds of excuses I can give you. The bottom line is we did what we had to, I am starting to see the things that I knew I could see and that is out best players making big plays. In a time of need, they came through and it was good.”

Montgomery said in years past, the team might have panicked, but she feels likes this squad has a different feel to it and hopes to return from California with a slew of wins.

“I would like to say that we have a lot of good seniors who can keep us level-headed and not worrying about what is going on, but I think the team stays calm in general and there isn’t much that freaks us out, in general," Montgomery said. "We always are pretty level-headed.”