TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Michaela Richbourg connected on the biggest hit of her career, with the smack of the bat echoing from the Florida Panhandle all the way back to Choctaw Country.
The ball carried far over the wall at JoAnne Graf Field in Tallahassee, Florida, to give Oklahoma State all it needed to take the first game of a best-of-three series against Florida State.
Richbourg, the sophomore from Broken Bow, earned the two-run score to also bring in Madi Sue Montgomery to give OSU a 3-1 lead in the top of the ninth that it held onto in the extra-innings battle for the upset over the Seminoles (54-9).
“I talked to (pitching) coach Jeff (Cottrill) right before that last inning and we were talking about making an adjustment, and I was letting the ball travel, but I wasn’t letting my bat get to the ball. And he told me just to go back like I was at Baylor, putting my bat to the ball short-swing, and just hit it like I did there. He told me to just go up there and have fun, and that’s what I did,” Richbourg said in the postgame press conference.
OSU is now only one win away from making an eighth Women’s College World Series appearance.
For most of the night, the Cowgirls (43-14) were waiting for that big hit that came in nearly every game this season, including in each of its now 17 come-from-behind victories, and it came from the breakout outfielder batting cleanup.
FSU ace pitcher Meghan King, a redshirt senior who came in with just a 1.42 earned run average, shut the Cowgirls down for most of the day, sending OSU down in order for the first three innings.
The Cowgirls kept battling, though, and eventually, Montgomery cracked the code to get OSU going against King.
It would be a few frames after the senior second baseman’s single when the Cowgirls finally crossed the plate, though.
Richbourg’s classmate, Chelsea Alexander, a fellow Southeastern Oklahoman and Latta High product, made the OSU dugout explode with a leadoff double in the sixth inning.
Samantha Show followed with a single and then with runners on second and third, Montgomery came back up to the plate and hit one deep enough to left field to give the speedy Alexander enough time to beat the tag at home and put the Cowgirls in business.
OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said there was never a doubt in his mind that the Cowgirls would come back to win it.
“We do this. This is what we have done,” Gajewski said. “I do not know what the numbers are, but this is our seventh win against the top team coming from behind now. We are just never out of games.”
The second game of the series was played Friday night.