NCAA softball: OSU wins opener against Florida International – Tulsa World
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Oklahoma State scored twice in the sixth inning to pick up a 2-0 win over Florida International in the opening round of the NCAA softball tournament Friday morning.
The Cowgirls take on top-seeded Florida at 11 a.m. Saturday. Florida knocked off Florida A&M in its first-round game Friday.
“Good first game,” OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said. “I thought that Brandi (Needham) was really good and under control. (It was) strike one for a bunch of those, and I think that was crucial for us just to get us off on the right track.”
OSU was hitless through five innings against FIU starter Shannon Saile before breaking through in the sixth. Maddi Holcomb had the Cowgirls’ first hit with a single to left. Vanessa Shippy followed with an RBI double. Madi Sue Montgomery delivered an RBI single two batters later to give OSU an insurance run.
“I knew that Brandi kept us in that game the whole time,” Shippy said. “I told her in the fourth, I think, to keep doing her thing, and we would score her a run. She’s been great all year. Madi Sue (Montgomery) and I ended up with those hits and Maddi Holcomb as well, but Brandi kept us in that game.”
That was enough for Needham, who moved to 20-9 on the season by allowing three hits over seven innings.
“It feels great,” Needham said of the victory. “Coming in, I was just trusting everybody. My defense was working their butts off with every single pitch I threw and every ground ball they got. It feels really great.”
OSU won its fourth post-season game under Gajewski, but it’s first in an opening round since he