The All-Big 12 teams were announced earlier today, and as you would probably guess, eight time regular-season conference champion OU is well represented with 10 players littered throughout the three teams. They also have the Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year.
*Cue OU fans bragging about these accomplishments while still denying wrestling and golf are “real sports” and the titles aren’t important.*
However, Oklahoma State did pretty well for itself in the second year of coach Kenny Gajewski’s tenure.
The Cowgirls boast four members total; two on each the first and second teams. That’s the most in one year since the 2010 season when the Cowgirls had five selections.
Senior pitcher Brandi Needham was the anchor of the Cowgirls’ staff this season. She has an 18-8 record in 32 appearances on the season with a 2.69 ERA. Needham has thrown 12 complete games and 148.1 total innings. She has allowed 71 runs this season, but only 57 are earned. (The Cowgirls haven’t been great defensively , committing 59 errors this season.) However, Needham has a great strikeout-to-walk ratio at 71:28. She is the first of the two All-Big 12 First Team selections for OSU.
The other first-teamer was junior utility player Vanessa Shippy. Shippy was a menace at the plate, hitting .410 on the season and starting all 55 games. She scored 44 runs and knocked in 44 RBIs on the season, including a league-leading four triples. She walked 38 times and only struck out 18. Her .517 on-base percentage and .634 slugging percentage was good for second and third best in the conference, respectively. In the field, Shippy was busy. She has 225 putouts on the season and 28 assists. She was also a part of nine double plays.
Junior infielder Rylee Bayless claimed second team honors this season. At the plate, Bayless has an impressive .324/.526/.559 slash line, as well as scoring a team high 52 runs while knocking in 36 of her own RBIs. She drew 62 walks on the season, but struck out 47 times. She was a peril on the basepaths, swiping 24 of the 28 bases she attempted. In the field, she has 57 putouts and 131 assists in 199 chances to make a play.
Sophomore Madi Sue Montgomery is the final award recipient for the Cowgirls. The utility player has a .289/.352/.377 slash line, and is a bright spot moving forward for the team. Defensively, Montgomery was a huge asset, as she has 109 putouts and 91 assists in 205 chances. With only five errors on the year, her .976 fielding percentage is second best on the team of players who have had at least 100 chances. She also was part of eight double plays on the season.
Congrats to the four Cowgirls on their awards! Up next, the Cowgirls head to Oklahoma City to take place in the Big 12 Championship Friday.