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Home Runs Power Cowgirls To Victory

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma State softball team defeated North Texas, 7-4, Wednesday night at Cowgirl Stadium, thanks to a couple of home runs by Cowgirl upperclassmen.

The Mean Green (24-15) began the game on top when Kat Strunk singled up the middle, scoring Brooke Foster, in the top of the first.

The Cowgirls responded in the bottom of the second. Pitcher Simone Freeman, who had no plate appearances entering the season, hit the first pitch from Ashley Kirk over the fence in straight-away centerfield. The home run was the first of her career for the senior. Later in the inning, Shannon Kaufman singled through the right side and Tiffany Mikkelson scored on an error by the right fielder. Tarah Ettinger later scored on a single up the middle by Shelby Davis. The base hit extended Davis' hitting streak to 13 games, cementing it as the fourth-longest hitting streak in OSU history. Ari Morrison followed with a single of her own, scoring Kaufman to put the Cowgirls up 4-1.

The Mean Green got two runs back in the top of the third on a two-run RBI single by Jordan Terry. The Cowgirls extended the lead in the bottom of the frame, highlighted by a two-run homer by Gessenia DeLaCruz, her third of the season and establishing a personal career high. Ettinger also recorded a sacrifice fly in the inning.

North Texas scored one more in the fifth, but could not get any closer and fell to OSU 7-4.

Freeman (17-9) pitched five innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out seven. Freshman Whitney Whitehorn threw the final two innings and allowed just a walk while striking out three in picking up the first save of her career.

Offensively, the Cowgirls finished with seven hits. Kaufman went 2-for-3 with a run batted in and a run scored. Freeman and DeLaCruz both had home runs, while Mikkelson's hit was her 10th double of the season. The Cowgirls only left two runners on base and five of the seven Cowgirl runs were scored with two outs.

The Cowgirls (22-16, 2-5 Big 12) return to conference action this weekend when they travel to Lubbock, Texas, for a three-game Big 12 series against Texas Tech. The series begins Friday at 7 p.m.

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