May 21, 2010

Tucson, Ariz. -- Oklahoma State surrendered a 4-0 lead over a span of three innings, and the 14th-ranked Cowgirls fell to Hofstra 8-6 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament here Friday afternoon at Hillenbrand Stadium.

The Cowgirls jumped on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the third inning. Mariah Gearhart reached on a bunt single, one of three hits for the leadoff hitter. After a stolen base, a pair of infield errors by the Hofstra Pride scored Gearhart. With two on and no outs, first baseman Julie Ward hit a three-run home run down the left field line gave OSU a 4-0 lead.

Hofstra cut into the lead in the top of the fourth on a three-run homer by Trisha Breslinski, her second of the season. The Pride took a one-run lead in the fifth when Cowgirl reliever Anna Whiddon loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit by pitch. A single by Becca Bigler scored one, and a wild pitch by Whiddon scored Tessa Ziemba from third to give Hofstra a 5-4 lead.

The Pride broke the game wide open with three runs in the sixth. Kris Root and Rachael Senatore led off with back-to-back singles. With one out, Sara Michalowski hit the ball up the middle. Cowgirl centerfielder Kelsey Anchors threw the ball in quickly, and it was cut off by Ward in the pitcher's circle. Root stopped a third, but Senatore also went to third with both base runners on the base. Ward overthrew Gearhart and the ball went into foul territory, scoring both runners. Hofstra led 8-4 after the top of the sixth.

The Cowgirls cut the lead in half in the bottom of the frame. Megan Castle led off with a base hit through the left side of the infield. Chelsea Garcia followed with a double down the leftfield that glanced off the glove of Bigler. Taylor Marcum came in to pinch hit for Kelsey Anchors and hit a drive to deep centerfield, scoring Castle on a sacrifice fly. Gearhart beat out the throw after hitting a high chopper to second base, scoring Garcia.

The Cowgirls had one last opportunity in the seventh when Ward led off with an infield single. However, Hofstra reliever Erin Wade forced a couple of ground outs and a flyout to centerfield to end the game.

Oklahoma State (43-15) will play the loser of the Arizona-Cornell game on Saturday at 4 p.m. local time (6 p.m. CDT). Hofstra (44-10) advances to play the winner at 2 p.m. Saturday.