“I’m incredibly proud of them,” expressed Oklahoma State coach Kenny Gajewski, crediting his coaching staff for their triumph in the Bedlam match.

Gajewski could have rightfully claimed credit for the impressive 6-3 win against Oklahoma, marking his third Bedlam victory in nine years and securing the program’s first win in Norman since 1997. However, he chose a different path.

Even amid a challenging summer, facing criticism from Sooner fans displeased with the former OU baseball player and staff member now leading the Cowgirls, following candid remarks in an O’Colly article regarding his sentiments about former OSU pitcher Kelly Maxwell’s departure for the in-state rival, Gajewski remained humble. He acknowledged significant scrutiny and pressure during his midweek press conference before Friday night’s game.

Even as Cowgirl fans chanted “Ke-nny! Ke-nny! Ke-nny!” from Love’s Field outfield after the game, acknowledging the importance of the series-opening win for their coach, Kenny Gajewski stayed grounded. He attributed the victory to his staff, notably highlighting the contributions of Carrie Eberle, the first-year pitching coach and former Cowgirl, and Vanessa Shippy-Fletcher, whom he unexpectedly promoted to hitting coach in December. Gajewski saw it as their victory, not his alone.

Expressing pride in his staff, Gajewski emphasized their bravery in making strategic decisions for the team, particularly in selecting the pitching lineup for Game 1 of the final Big 12 Bedlam series. He recounted how Eberle had to convince him of her plan, starting Kyra Aycock and bringing in ace Lexi Kilfoyl later in the game.

Initially hesitant, Gajewski trusted Eberle’s conviction and decision-making, recognizing her approach as precisely why he hired her. The success of their strategy was evident as Aycock and Kilfoyl effectively contained the Sooners’ offense, while Shippy-Fletcher’s impact on the Cowgirls’ hitting was evident through standout performances from players like freshman Karli Godwin.

Despite a shaky start, Aycock’s pitching limited the Sooners to just one hit and two runs, while Kilfoyl’s relief effort secured the victory for OSU. Offensively, players like Godwin, Micaela Wark, and Jilyen Poullard contributed significantly, with Shippy-Fletcher’s coaching credited for the team’s overall offensive performance.

Gajewski acknowledged the challenges ahead in the series but expressed satisfaction in the team’s progress, attributing their success not only to himself but also to the dedicated individuals he has surrounded himself with over his nine-year coaching tenure. He recognized their perseverance and hard work, emphasizing the collective effort that has propelled the Cowgirls toward victory.

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