North Texas Daily

Maxwell’s complete game holds off softball in loss to Oklahoma State

Maxwell’s complete game holds off softball in loss to Oklahoma State

Maxwell’s complete game holds off softball in loss to Oklahoma State
March 16
13:45 2022

No. 10-ranked Oklahoma State University defeated the softball team 4-2 Tuesday as redshirt junior left-hander Kelly Maxwell pitched a complete game.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Skylar Savage started for North Texas (14-5, 3-0 Conference USA), striking out two, walking one and surrendering 10 hits for four runs in 5.1 innings pitched to record her second loss. Maxwell pitched all seven innings for the Cowgirls (17-5), striking out seven, walking six and surrendering two runs on four hits to gain her seventh win.

Savage allowed two early runs coming in the first and second innings before giving up two more in the sixth. Sophomore outfielder Lexi Cobb hit her third home run of the season in the fifth inning, tying the game at two. 

“We weren’t outmatched tonight,” head coach Rodney DeLong said. “[Maxwell] is a great pitcher, but I feel like we hit some pressure on and we hit some hard balls. Really proud of how we fought her.”

Freshman infielder Brianna Evans gave Oklahoma State the lead in the top of the first inning, coming in on an RBI single after leading off the game with a single. The Cowgirls loaded the bases before Savage struck out the final two batters of the top half. 

With two on and two outs in the top of the third, sophomore second baseman Mikayla Smith recorded a run-saving 4-6 putout as a hard-hit grounder by senior infielder Kiley Naomi headed for the middle of the field. DeLong said defense helped the team during the ranked matchup. 

“The defense played good, playing against a great team,” DeLong said. “I felt like we were a little flat footed early in the game, but we ultimately played solid defense.”

The Mean Green tied the game on a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth after a freshman shortstop Cierra Simon single was followed by Cobb’s blast. Cobb continues to lead North Texas’ offense through 19 games, batting .429 on the season with a .525 on-base percentage.

“[I’m] just relaxed,” Cobb said. “I felt really tense last season and I decided I was not going to do that this year.”

After surrendering two runs on three hits in the top of the sixth, Savage made way for junior lefty Ashley Peters. The southpaw recorded the final two outs of the inning with two fly outs to limit Oklahoma State to a 4-2 lead.

A silent sixth inning for the Mean Green led into the final frame, where Peters set down the Cowgirls without allowing a further run in her second inning of work. Cobb walked with one out in the bottom of the seventh, putting the tying run at the plate for North Texas.

With Cobb on third after a passed ball and groundout by sophomore outfielder Kalei Christensen, senior third baseman Tayla Evans walked to put runners at the corners. The tying runs then on-base, sophomore Kailey Gamble popped up to first to end the contest. The two runners were the seventh and eighth left on base by the Mean Green on the night.

The loss was North Texas’ second to a ranked opponent this season as it fell to No. 20 the University of Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 12.

“We were very mentally prepared as a team and we came into this game very excited,” Savage said. “We had a slow start, but we fought the whole way.”

A three-game weekend series with Florida Atlantic University (14-13, 3-0 C-USA) looms for North Texas as it heads into the second week of conference play. The Mean Green swept the University of Southern Mississippi last weekend to begin its regular season title defense. 

“I didn’t like how we started the game, felt like we were a little slow, a little flat,” DeLong said. “As time went on we got a little more comfortable and we played pretty good down the stretch.”

Featured Image: Freshman infielder Emma Grahmann practices on March 8, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

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Reed Smith

Reed Smith

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