Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

April 19, 2013

OSU softball returns home to take on Kansas

STILLWATER — For the past two weeks, the Oklahoma State University Cowgirls softball team was away from its friendly confines of Cowgirl Stadium. At 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oklahoma State opens a four-game home stand with the Kansas Jayhawks for a three-game series.

“Tulsa is here, we go to OU for a game,” coach Rich Wieligman said. “For the most part we are home and it’s good to be home.”

Saturday and Sunday’s games are set for noon. Oklahoma State hosts Tulsa at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Besides being on the road the last two weeks, the Cowgirls have also battled the weather as their last three mid-week games were rained out, including Wednesday’s Bedlam game in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma State is making up its games with Wichita State in a doubleheader at Wichita, Kan., on April 25. The Bedlam game will be made up on May 10 in Oklahoma City.

Wieligman said the rain outs haven’t affected his team, adding it has had a positive impact.

“We still practiced (on Wednesday) and worked out,” Wieligman said. “This week it may have helped us out. Some of the kids are nicked up and we can get them well and feeling better for this weekend.”

The Cowgirls (24-20, 2-7 in Big 12) and the Jayhawks (26-11, 3-3 in Big 12) enter Friday’s series opener on the opposite ends of momentum. The Cowgirls were swept by Iowa State and Baylor, putting them on a six-game losing streak. Kansas has won five of its last six, including a sweep of Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.

“They have a lot of energy,” Wieligman said. “They play hard. I think their offense is pretty strong. Their pitchers are keeping them in the game. They hit the ball well. We are going to have to play good defense, pitch the ball well, just like any other Big 12 game.”

Oklahoma State is coming off a three-game series where it only scored two runs on six hits. Despite the team’s offensive struggles, junior second baseman Ari Morrison is swinging a hot bat since returning from injury on March 28 against Texas Tech. In conference play, Morrison is batting .400 with two doubles, a home run, four runs scored and six RBIs. Morrison recorded two of the Cowgirls’ six hits against Baylor.

“It’s good to have her back in the lineup,” Wieligman said. “She allows us to do different things with her speed in the lineup.”

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