After leading by three runs through the first three innings, the Wichita State softball team couldn’t hang on to its lead against No. 21 Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls scored six unanswered runs to come away with a 9-6 victory over the Shockers at Wilkins Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Shockers had three players collect two hits, with Ryleigh Buck going 2-for-3 at the plate and recording her fourth game in the last five outings with at least two hits.
Forcing the Cowgirls into two shutout innings to open the game, Wichita State jumped out to an early lead. A single from Laurie Derrico and a walk from Bailee Nickerson set up Neleigh Herring with her first career triple, driving in the game’s first two runs in the bottom of the second. Another single from Kaylee Huecker scored Herring from third, putting the Shockers ahead 3-0.
With the Shockers scoring their fourth run of the inning off a wild pitch, Oklahoma State responded by starting the top of the third with a leadoff walk and a double to put runners in scoring position. After a groundout to shortstop scored the Cowgirls’ first run, Chyenne Factor hit her sixth home run of the season to cut the lead to one.
Adding to the lead off a fielding error by Oklahoma State, the Shockers extended the advantage to 6-3 thanks to an Asea Webber single up the middle that scored Huecker from third. The Cowgirls responded with four runs off four hits a half-inning later, with three singles allowing Oklahoma State to cut the lead to two.
Another single to left field allowed the Cowgirls to cut the advantage to one run, with two bases loaded walks giving Oklahoma State a 7-6 lead. Lauren Mills called in to relief pitch, where she retired four of her first six batters and kept the deficit at one run heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.
Pinch hitter Sydney Springfield came up with a one-out double for Oklahoma State in right center and Michaela Richbourg hit her eighth home run of the season off the foul pole that gave the Cowgirls a three-run lead. Wichita State came up with three singles in the final two innings, but Oklahoma State held the Shockers down to get their first win in Wichita since March 23, 2016.
Buck extended her hit streak to seven games, while Derrico came up with her 40th multi-hit game of her career after going 2-for-4 at the plate. Wednesday also marked the fifth time in the last six games where Herring has obtained at least one hit.
Wichita State (20-12, 1-2) continues its homestand and conference play on Friday, facing UConn in a three-game series at Wilkins Stadium beginning at 6 p.m.