OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma State coach Kenny Gajewski was as blunt when talking about the way his team closed out the regular season. In three games against No. 1 Oklahoma, the Pokes scored a total of two runs and were held to six hits.
“I was embarrassed,” Gajewski said of the three-game sweep. “Not embarrassed that we got beat. But embarrassed we didn’t compete.”
Luckily for No. 14 Oklahoma State, they didn’t have to wait long to find redemption. With the Big 12 Championship less than a week later, the Pokes had a chance to take their frustration out on an unsuspecting opponent.
Facing Iowa State in their second game of pool play, OSU went on a home run barrage to rock the Cyclones 17-2 at Hall of Fame Stadium.
🎥 WATCH: And we didn't forget about @sydneybrooke_15's TANK to left field!— Cowgirl Softball (@CowgirlSB) May 11, 2019
Her two-run blast further solidified the #OKState single-game home run record, which now stands at seven after tonight. pic.twitter.com/gMQKmqZiNS
The victory not only pushed Oklahoma State (39-14) to 2-0 on the day, but they secured a spot in the Big 12 title game, where they will face the Sooners again.
“I’m just really thrilled with the way we bounced back from last week when we were absolutely steamrolled,” Gajewski said. “We challenged our kids all week and they answered.”
After winning their first game of the day, Oklahoma (49-2) came back in the nightcap to roll past Kansas. With Oklahoma Leading 5-0 in the fourth inning with the bases loaded, the game was suspended due to the weather.
The game is scheduled to resume at 11 a.m. Saturday. However, due to the Sooners’ pool record, they already have clinched a spot in the championship.
Oklahoma State clubbed seven homers against Iowa State. That included five in the second inning alone.
Two of those Poke’s homers in the fifth inning came from sophomore Raquel Dominguez. They were the first of her college career.
‘I think I was just kind of calm up there,” Dominquez said. “I was just thinking, hit the ball. I was just trying to relax and hit the ball hard.”
Along with Dominquez, Rylee Bayless, Samantha Show, Michaela Richbourg, Sydney Springfield, and Kiley Naomi also racked up the round-trippers.
ISU was unable to pick up any type of success against the OSU battery of pitchers. The Pokes held the Cyclones to six hits and struck out 15 batters.
While OSU was making its way through the pool play unblemished, No. 1 Oklahoma was just as impressive on Day 1. The Sooners beat No. 15 Texas Tech 8-0 to start the afternoon. The win pushed the Sooner’s win streak to 39 straight.
Oklahoma moved its nation-leading win streak to 39 consecutive games, which stands as the longest single-season streak in NCAA Division I history and the second-longest all-time. Their last defeat came Feb. 22 against UCLA.
Gajewski knows facing the top team in the nation is going to be a much different challenge than what his squad faced on day one.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Gajewski said. “They may be the best team I’ve ever seen. They are what I call Patty tough. She is tough. What these kids do and how they represent our conference and our state across the country, it’s nuts. They just refuse to lose. My message has been to our team, you’re going to have to match their toughness. You aren’t matching their talent. They are not only the best players in the country, but they have the best coach.
“We’re going to have to play our best game, and they are going to have to play down. I don’t know that we can compete. It will be interesting. But we are going to show up. We’ll meet them at the gate.”
On the other end of the spectrum was Texas. The first day of the Big 12 Championships saw the Longhorns get swept by Oklahoma State and Iowa State to the tune of 8-2. That included being shutout 2-0 by the Red Raiders.
If Kansas loses to Oklahoma, the Jayhawks will face the Longhorns in the third-place game. That leaves Texas Tech and Iowa State to meet in the second-place game.