Behind four home runs and eight strikeouts, the Wichita State softball team defeated #19/24 Oklahoma State, 9-6, at Wilkins Stadium to sweep the series over the Cowgirls and earn their second win over a ranked opponent this season in front of the largest home crowd this season (650).
Bailey Lange got her 50th career start in the circle and instantly delivered with back-to-back looking outs in an easy three up, three down for the Shocker defense.
In the bottom half of the first Wichita State took the lead. Mackenzie Wright led off with a deep double down the left field line, the 33rd of her career to move her into tied-10th for doubles all-time at WSU. Asea Webber’s sacrifice bunt moved her to third before Laurie Derrico hit a soft single just over the shortstop into left center to get Wright home and give the Shockers an early 1-0 lead.
Lange got her third and fourth strikeouts in the second with the Shocker bats pushing the lead to five in the bottom half. Paige Luellen led off with a double into center field with Kaylee Huecker replacing her to run. Lange sacrifice bunted to move her to third with Madison Perrigan reaching first on a fielder’s choice to get runners on the corners. A deep triple down the right field line by Wright got them both home before Webber crushed a two-run home run over the center field fence to push the lead to 5-0, her third of the season.
In the top of the third Oklahoma State got two back with the leadoff batter hit by a pitch to get a runner on base. A sacrifice bunt and single loaded the bases with a single and sacrifice fly cutting the lead to 5-2 before the Shocker defense got out the jam.
The Shockers quickly restored their five run lead in the bottom half with Buck reaching first on a fielder’s choice and Bailee Nickerson crushing the second two-run home run of the game over the center field fence.
Just as quick as the Shockers restored it, the Cowgirls cut it back with an error and bunt getting two runners on with a single into shallow left field getting two home to cut the lead to 7-4.
In the bottom of the fifth Wichita State hit back-to-back home runs to push the lead back to five at 9-4. Lange crushed one over right center with Perrigan knocking one over the right field fence, the fourth and sixth of the season for each. In the sixth OSU cut it back to 9-6 with two singles and a double getting two Cowgirls home with the Shocker bats coming up empty in the bottom half.
OSU attempted a rally in the seventh with two singles but two strikeouts by Lange and a high fly out to former Cowgirl Webber in right field gave the Shockers the win to move to 24-17 on the season. The win also gave Wichita State their second win over a ranked opponent this season, the first time they’ve defeated two top-25 teams in a season since 2016.
Lange got the win in her 12th complete game of the year to move to 13-10 and will now look to an American Athletic Conference series this weekend when she and the Shockers host UCF at Wilkins Stadium beginning on Friday evening.