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Oklahoma State Wins Conference-Opening Series Over Texas Tech

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma State won two of three games in its Big 12 Conference series opener Saturday afternoon at the Cowgirl Softball Complex. The Cowgirls team defeated Texas Tech 2-1 in 10 innings on Saturday morning in a resumption of Friday's rain-delayed contest. OSU defeated the Red Raiders 4-1 in the regularly scheduled game to win the series.

Friday night, the game was a pitching duel with no runs scored until the top of the eighth inning when Tech's Sandy James hit a home run to left field to give the Red Raiders (27-14, 1-2 Big 12) a 1-0 lead.

The Cowgirls (24-14, 2-1 Big 12) responded in the bottom of the frame when junior Ari Morrison scored from third on a fielder's choice by senior Tamara Brown to knot the score at 1-1. The game was then suspended at approximately 7:30 pm due to heavy rain and lightning.

The game was resumed Saturday morning, and the Cowgirls won the game on a walk-off single by junior Tarah Ettinger, scoring sophomore Gessenia DeLaCruz from third base to give OSU the 2-1 victory.

Senior Kat Espinosa started the game and went six innings, allowing no runs on six hits while striking out seven. Simone Freeman (11-7) came on in relief Friday night, and continued Saturday and picked up the win. She threw four innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out 10.

Offensively for the Cowgirls, Brown, junior Shannon Kaufman, Ettinger, senior Stephanie Brewer and DeLaCruz all had base hits, with Ettinger and Brown picking up RBIs.

In the finale of the three-game series, the Red Raiders struck first, scoring one run in the top of the fourth inning to take a 1-0 lead when Taylor Powell scored on a double by Emily Cooper.

However, the Cowgirls responded right away in the bottom of the inning. With one out, senior Amy Graham hit a solo home run to left center, her third of the season, to tie the game. Later in the inning, freshman pinch-runner Shianne Hughes scored on a wild pitch by Cara Custer. Sophomore Shelby Davis scored on a base hit up the middle by Morrison, and in the next at-bat, Ettinger hit a line shot that ricocheted off the pitcher, scoring DeLaCruz to give the Cowgirls a 4-1 lead and the series win.

Freeman started the series finale and went two innings, allowing one hit and struck out two. Espinosa (12-7) threw the final five innings and picked up the win, allowing one unearned run on two hits while striking out four.

In her first start since suffering a knee injury on Feb. 15, Morrison led the offense. She went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

The Cowgirls hit the road this week. On Wednesday, the Cowgirls travel to Wichita, Kan., to take on the Wichita State Shockers at 7 p.m. OSU then travels to Ames, Iowa, for a Big 12 match-up with Iowa State next weekend.

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