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OSU Softball: Cowgirls Run Win Streak To Seven

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma State softball team continued its winning ways on Thursday, as the Cowgirls swept a doubleheader with Utah Valley, posting victories by scores of 10-2 and 9-1 at Wolverine Field in Orem, Utah.

With the sweep, Oklahoma State pushed its winning streak to seven games and moved to 16-13 overall.

“Timely hitting was huge for us today,” head coach Rich Wieligman said. “Both teams had seven hits in the first game, and we actually got out hit in the second. To pound at nine and ten runs, that shows that we came up big when we needed it most.”

Shianne Hughes got things going in the first with a one-out single, and advanced to third on Tiffany Mikkelson's base-hit down the right field line. Three at-bats later, Danielle Riddle brought home Mikkelson and Vanessa Shippy with a single up the middle. The two-run base-hit marked the third time in as many games that the Cowgirls have scored in the first inning.

The hot start didn't end there, as Dre McKee followed Riddle with a two-run double off the wall in left, scoring Riddle and Mallory Collins. After only half an inning, the Cowgirls led, 4-0, making way for Needham to begin her strong day in the circle.

Needham allowed a solo home run in the bottom of the second, but controlled the Wolverine offense throughout a majority of the game. The sophomore surrendered only seven hits, and posted six strikeouts over the course of the contest.

The Cowgirl offense would go on to cushion the lead in the third, beginning with Dre McKee's sacrifice fly to right. The following at-bat, Gessenia DeLaCruz launched a towering two-run homer over the wall in left, giving Oklahoma State a 7-1 lead after two and a half frames.

In the fourth, Oklahoma State tacked on another run after Davis escaped a pickle between third and home.

The score would hold until the bottom of the sixth, when a single from Tiana Hensley scored Bryanna Fox, cutting the OSU lead to 8-2.

Oklahoma State's ten-run effort was capped off in the top of the seventh, as Shippy scored from third on a passed ball and Miranda Cavin knocked in Collins on a sacrifice fly.

With the Cowgirls leading, 10-2, Needham went 1-2-3 in the seventh to seal the win. The complete game victory gave Needham her fourth win in her last four appearances, improving the sophomore's overall record to 9-4.

Offensively, seven of the Cowgirls' starting nine recorded base-hits, while McKee (1-2, 3 RBI, BB), Riddle (1-3, 2 RBI, BB) and DeLaCruz (1-4, HR, 2 RBI) each posted multi-RBI efforts.

Oklahoma State's explosive run production continued into the second half of the twin-bill, as the Cowgirls jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. After drawing a one-out walk, Hughes stole second and scored on Shippy's RBI single, giving of her the first of three runs scored.

In the second, the Cowgirls blew the game open, scoring five runs in the frame despite only managing two base-hits. With Randee O'Donnell and Michaela Patton on second and third, Davis lined a one-out double to left to score two. Two batters later, Mikkelson roped a double to center, bringing in Hughes and Davis.

Both second inning hits proved to be the difference, as the Cowgirls would only manage four throughout the contest. However, four hits would be all the squad would need, thanks to Jessi Haffner's spectacular performance in the circle.

In only her fourth start of the year, Haffner kept the Wolverines scoreless through the first four frames. The freshman tossed seven strikeouts while scattering only five hits, eventually earning a complete game victory. With the win, Haffner's record improves to a perfect 4-0.

Mikkelson's second-inning double extended her active hitting streak to 13 games, dating back to her 2-4 performance against Evansville on March 6. During that span, Mikkelson has hit a whopping .514, pushing her season average up to .402. Oklahoma State's nine-run effort was also aided by Collins, who smashed a two-run double in fourth.

The Cowgirls will ride their seven-game winning streak into Friday's doubleheader at BYU, set to begin at 5 p.m. CT.

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