Cowgirls run-rule two teams in home thrashing

Jordan Bishop/Stillwater News Press Oklahoma State softball coach Kenny Gajewski motions to a runner to stay at third base against McNeese State on Saturday.

STILLWATER, Okla. — Kenny Gajewski doesn’t know if his Oklahoma State softball team is close to playing a complete game, but he hopes it comes soon.

The Cowgirls have shown glimpses of greatness defensively and while offense has been up and down in terms of production, Gajewski knows the team has the ability to piece it all together, but he doesn’t know when.

OSU (18-5) will have plenty of chances over the next few weeks as it embarks on a 10-game road trip, starting in Conway, Arkansas, on Thursday with a tangle against Central Arkansas.

Initially scheduled to happen Wednesday in Stillwater, the contest against the Bears (12-12) was pushed back a day and on the road to avoid any weather.

The Cowgirls, who moved up to No. 18 in the coaches poll and No. 14 in the ESPN poll, will look to keep adding onto an eight-game winning streak that included a four-game sweep against Wichita State and Oregon last week – two teams OSU went a combined 0-5 against last season.

“I don’t think we are still playing particularly well in all phases, but we continue to stay in all of our games and winning most of them,” Gajewski said. “At the end of the day, that is the bottom line. We are going to continue to get better and we have to play a complete game and I am looking forward to that day.”

After playing UCA, the Cowgirls will head to Oxford, Mississippi, for a neutral site contest Friday against Samford (9-17) before facing off with hometown Rebels as OSU will look to go 3-1 against the prestigious Southeastern Conference this season.

OSU will play Ole Miss (17-7) on Friday after Samford and in a Saturday afternoon contest before heading up north to Memphis, Tennessee, for a date with the Tigers (12-10) on Sunday to wrap up the weekend.

Gajewski said despite the fatigue of the road trips – OSU’s next home game won’t be until March 29 against Texas – he would like to see his players continue putting in the work because he knows they can be excellent, but they still have to dig deeper.

“I would like to see these kids in here all the time,” Gajewski said. “We can’t afford to take many days off. This is a game of consistency and repetition. I am a little disappointed in a lot of our kids, to be very honest. I know they are tired, we are tired, too. I am 47, they are 20. That is the message today is we have to work and there are no days off here. You have to find time as a student athlete. They have to perfect their craft. They do in school and should out here as well. That is the hard part about balancing things here.”

The Cowgirls are off to their best start since 2011, but Gajewski wants them to do more, including making a trip to the Women's College World Series – something OSU also hasn’t done in eight years.

“I am not going to tell you I am thrilled to be 18-5,” Gajewski said. “It doesn’t mean anything to me at this point. What matters is at the very end. I don’t want this team to look back at any point and say, ‘What happened?” I want them to look back and say they did everything they could every single day. That is what the standard is. That is part of the learning curve here and managing life and school and sports and social life. I think there is time for all of it. That is the challenge that we got.”