OSU’s new pitching strategy yields mixed results in Clearwater Invitational

OSU’s new pitching strategy yields mixed results in Clearwater Invitational

No. 8 Oklahoma State played three of its five scheduled games in the Clearwater Invitational, beating Wisconsin and losing to No. 4 Georgia and No. 12 LSU.

Sam Hutchens

By Sam Hutchens

| Feb 19, 2024, 2:00pm CST

Sam Hutchens

By Sam Hutchens

Feb 19, 2024, 2:00pm CST

(Sam and Ben Hutchens’ OSU newsletter hits inboxes every week. Subscribe here for the latest)

Oklahoma State’s hot start was dampened over the weekend. 

No. 8 OSU traveled to Clearwater, Florida to play in the high-profile Shriners Children’s Clearwater Invitational. The Cowgirls went 1-2, sandwiching a win against Wisconsin around losses to No. 4 Georgia and No. 12 LSU.

A Saturday game against Northwestern and a Sunday matchup against Georgia Tech were canceled due to rain. 

Late-inning issues hurt OSU

The Cowgirls had a lead in both losses. OSU built an advantage quickly against Georgia. A two-run home run from shortstop Megan Bloodworth was the key at-bat to getting up 4-0 on the Bulldogs.

Georgia rallied to score four in the fifth inning and three in the sixth, eventually winning 7-4.

OSU took a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the seventh against LSU but lost on a walkoff, bases-loaded single from Hannah Carson in heavy rain.

Senior pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl was OSU’s losing pitcher in both losses. She entered both games as a reliever as part of coach Kenny Gajewski’s new pitching strategy. Kilfoyl uncharacteristically struggled in Clearwater, allowing seven hits and five earned runs in 4.1 innings.

Rosie Davis’ career is off to an impressive start

Replacing senior second baseman Rachel Becker was one of Gajewski’s toughest offseason tasks.

Freshman Rosie Davis has been quite an answer. She had five hits in ten at-bats in Clearwater, starting every game at second base. She remained error-free in the field.

Davis, an out-of-state player from Readyville, Tennessee, has batted .500 through 20 at-bats this season. If she can keep that up and hover near Becker’s .443 average from last season, Davis will be a key piece to OSU’s postseason ambitions.

Ivy Rosenberry was OSU’s best pitcher

Senior pitcher Ivy Rosenberry appeared in just 14 games last season. Now, just eight games into 2024, she has pitched in six games. With the way she pitched over the weekend, increasing her usage seems wise.

Rosenberry did not pitch against Georgia but threw three innings against Wisconsin and four against LSU. She dealt with traffic, allowing six hits and three walks across seven innings, but did not surrender an earned run.

Up next

The Cowgirls are staying in the Sunshine State. 

Late Sunday evening, OSU announced it would play at No. 16 Florida. Gajewski was an assistant coach on Florida coach Tim Walton’s staff. They won back-to-back national championships in 2014 and 2015. 

OSU has a midweek game in DeLand, Florida against Stetson on Wednesday. The Cowgirls will then travel southwest toward the Gulf of Mexico to play five games in the South Florida Showdown.

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Sam Hutchens covers Oklahoma State sport for Sellout Crowd. He interned for The Stillwater News Press in 2021 and The Guthrie News Leader in 2022, where he won a first-place OPA award for in-depth reporting. He has also covered sports in southwest Oklahoma for The Lawton Constitution. He strives to tell you the OSU sports stories that you want to tell your friends about. You can email him at [email protected] and connect on Twitter (X) @Sam_Hutchens_

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