OSU softball rewind: How Ivy Rosenberry’s improvement is bolstering the Cowgirls

OSU softball rewind: How Ivy Rosenberry’s improvement is bolstering the Cowgirls

Oklahoma State had a superb weekend, going undefeated and beating a top-five team. Senior pitcher Ivy Rosenberry and senior catcher Caroline Wang have emerged as key players.

Ben Hutchens

By Ben Hutchens

| Feb 26, 2024, 3:28pm CST

Ben Hutchens

By Ben Hutchens

Feb 26, 2024, 3:28pm CST

(Sam and Ben Hutchens’ OSU newsletter hits inboxes every week. Subscribe here for the latest)

Oklahoma State was operating at a high level in Tampa at the South Florida Showdown over the weekend. 

The Cowgirls went 5-0, beating Washington, South Florida, Yale, Pittsburgh and Loyola (Chicago). If that’s not impressive enough for you, they also beat Ivy League students in a strategy game.

During a rain delay in No. 8 OSU’s eventual five-inning, run-rule win against Yale, the Cowgirls and Bulldogs managed to play a game of tic-tac-toe by tossing a softball between dugouts. 

How is this a win?

The Cowgirls (O’s) clinched a win because the upper-left box was free on their turn. When Yale threw it back after marking down an X in vain, a Bulldog inscribed a congratulatory message to boot: “lol good game”

There were more important developments, too, as OSU improved to 13-2.

Ivy Rosenberry gets her turn

Senior pitcher Ivy Rosenberry hasn’t played much since transferring to OSU before the 2023 season. She was the No. 4 option for the Cowgirls last season and pitched just 37 innings.

That has changed. 

Rosenberry has been the second-most utilized pitcher behind senior Lexi Kilfoyl. Rosenberry has the best ERA on staff (0.28) and has given up one earned run in 25 innings.

The righty pitched a complete-game shutout against Pittsburgh in OSU’s South Florida Showdown finale. Her high-velocity drop ball bewildered Panther hitters.

OSU coach Kenny Gajewski said he hopes to spread innings evenly across his staff instead of relying on two arms. Judging by her early-season usage, Rosenberry has the potential to triple or quadruple her career-high for innings pitched in a season. That is 48, back when she was a freshman at Virginia Tech.

Win that could loom large

The first game of OSU’s five-game road trip was the pinnacle.

The Cowgirls beat No. 4 Washington 7-0 on Thursday. It was the second-most lopsided OSU win over an opponent ranked in the top five.

The domination started with senior OSU pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl, who threw a complete game two-hitter. Freshman second baseman Rosie Davis broke the game open in the seventh with a three-run home run.

Beating Washington will help OSU’s resume when super regional host sites are determined. It is only the second time Washington has been blanked this season and just the Huskies second loss.

The only other team to beat UW? Oklahoma, in a 4-3 game that went to extra innings.

Caroline Wang’s power 

Fifteen games into the season, trend lines can start emerging. One pattern to watch this season has been senior catcher Caroline Wang’s batting statistics.

Wang transferred in from Liberty in the offseason, where she put up stupendous numbers and was the 2022 ASUN Player of the Year. In her previous two 62-game long seasons at Liberty, Wang averaged 16 home runs.

Despite the transfer, her numbers have remained steady.

Wang is tied with shortstop Tallen Edwards for a team-high four home runs. If you extrapolate Wang’s home run numbers this season over 60 games, you get — you guessed it — 16.

Wang has started in 14 of OSU’s 15 games including every game on the road trip.

Up next

Oklahoma State plays a doubleheader against South Dakota State on Tuesday to open play at Cowgirl Stadium. Those games are at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. There will not be a television broadcast. Tickets are available here: https://okstate.evenue.net/event/SB24/SB2401

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Ben Hutchens and his twin brother Sam cover Oklahoma State for the Sellout Crowd. After a decade of living in the state, Ben finally feels justified in calling himself an Oklahoman. You can reach him at [email protected] and continue the dialogue @Ben_ Hutchens_ on social media.

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