#24 Oklahoma State Softball 2018 Preview

Oklahoma State Cowgirls
Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #3 Big 12
Oklahoma State Logo
Oklahoma State gave top seeded Florida more than they wanted in the Gainesville Regional last season. The Cowgirls pushed the Gators to a deciding game in the Regional Finals, but came up just short. Florida went on to finish as the runners-up, while OSU went home to retool their roster and prepare for 2018. The roster rebuilding comes with the loss of pitchers Brandi Needham and Shea Coats. Logan Simunek pitched 61.1 innings as a freshman, recording a 6-3 record and a 3.99 ERA. Coach Kenny Gajewski also brought in Emmie Robertson from Pittsburg State, Samantha Clakley from Texas-Arlington and Kendal Judge from Minnesota. Clakley has the most Division I experience after earning Second-Team All-Sun Belt honors during both of her seasons at Texas-Arlington.
2017: 38-25, 12-6
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kenny Gajewski
Key Departed Players:
Kristin Reasnor, 1B/DP, .276 BA, 8 HR, 44 RBI
Brandi Needham, P, 2.43 ERA, 184.1 IP, 85 SO
Shea Coats, P, 4.28 ERA, 90.0 IP, 80 SO
Key Returning Players:
Vanessa Shippy, UTL, .398 BA, 5 HR, 46 RBI
Taylor Lynch, UTL, .333 BA, 1 HR, 30 RBI
Rylee Bayless, IF, .312 BA, 7 HR, 38 RBI, 26 SB
Madi Sue Montgomery, IF, .273 BA, 1 HR, 31 RBI
Logan Simunek, P, 3.99 ERA, 61.1 IP, 25 SO
The offense scored nearly five runs per game in 2017, ranking second in the Big 12, and should be just as dangerous this time around. Vanessa Shippy has never missed a game heading into her fourth season with the Cowgirls. She led the team with a .398 batting average and 46 RBIs as a junior and is poised for another big year. Rylee Bayless had a superb debut season for Oklahoma State after transferring in from Northeastern Oklahoma. She hit .312 with 7 homeruns and 38 RBIs. More impressively, Bayless led the nation in walks with 71. She was tops in the Big 12 in on-base percentage and Shippy was close behind at third. With those two seemingly always on base, this team will score plenty of runs. The difference between a team that can compete for a Big 12 title and a team that struggles to make the NCAA Tournament will be in the circle where the newcomers will have to be ready to play at a high level right away.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Madness 2018 Draft Rankings:
#11 Vanessa Shippy