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Softball season is here, and the Cowgirls are picking up where they left off.

Oklahoma State defeated Arizona State 5-2 on Thursday night in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe. The Cowgirls won off a stellar nights from Chyenne Factor, Hayley Busby and Kelly Maxwell.

Entering her first season as the Cowgirls’ ace, Maxwell threw five innings Thursday night where she allowed only one hit, no runs and struck out seven Sun Devil batters. A redshirt junior from Friendswood, Texas, Maxwell has grown a reputation of being a strikeout artist. In 116 innings of work last season, Maxwell struck out 147 batters. For reference, Carrie Eberle struck out 156 batters last season but in 191 1/3 innings.

The Cowgirls got their bats going in the third inning when Factor had a bunt single that scored Chelsea Alexander. That brought up Busby who hit her first home run of the season, a three-run shot to left to give OSU a 4-0 lead. Busby, an Arizona native, hit a team-best 19 home runs last season. Her .794 slugging percentage in 2021 was a program record.

Factor got in on the deep shots in her next at-bat, hitting a solo home run to right center that grew the Cowgirls’ lead to 5-0. A senior from Yukon, Factor has hit 16 home runs in her career after Thursday’s.

Miranda Elish made her Cowgirl debut in the sixth inning. Elish, a transfer from Texas, was the Softball America National Player of the Year in 2020. It wasn’t quite the storybook start to her OSU career, the Sun Devils scored their two runs in the inning with Elish in the circle, but she did manage to strand two ASU runners with back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam.

From there, Illinois State transfer Morgan Day came out to close. Day was an All-Missouri Valley First Team selection last season. She didn’t allow a baserunner, going strikeout, flyout, strikeout.

The Cowgirls continue with the Kajikawa Classic this weekend:

Opponent Time (Central) TV
No. 18 Duke 12:30 p.m. Friday
Utah 3 p.m. Friday Pac-12 Network
Cal Baptist 10 a.m. Saturday
Missouri State 12:30 p.m. Saturday

The post OSU Softball: No. 5 Cowgirls Top No. 21 Arizona State in Season Opener appeared first on Pistols Firing.

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