FSU softball: Three things to look for against No. 3 Oklahoma State

FSU softball (20-3) is no stranger to facing top competition, and that trend will continue this weekend when they travel to face No. 3 Oklahoma State (18-1) for a three-game series.

It’s the third top-five team they’ll face this season. FSU defeated No. 4 Arkansas and dropped a heartbreaker to No. 2 UCLA after leading into the sixth inning.

FSU swept a two-game series from No. 7 ranked Oklahoma State last year, winning both games by a 2-1 score, with the second game going nine innings.

Oklahoma State has a potent offense, batting .381 with 24 home runs and an on-base percentage of .477. Their batters only strike out 11 percent of their at-bats.

Defensively, they have a .982 fielding percentage, which is outstanding, and their pitchers have a 2.15 ERA.

They allow opposing batters to hit .193 and have 140 strikeouts in 117 innings while walking 29 and allowing 14 home runs.

Three Things To Look For

  • FSU Starting Pitching Success
  • FSU defense
  • FSU veteran batters stepping up

Success in this series will be defined by FSU starting pitching. They should be fine if they can work ahead in counts and avoid too many hitter counts. If not, Oklahoma State batters will make them pay for mistakes. They MUST avoid walks at all cost, especially lead-off or 2-out walks. I wouldn’t expect a ton of strikeouts because they put the ball in play quite a bit, which brings me to the next thing.

FSU defense has to be on point and they can’t give this Oklahoma State offense any extra outs. FSU’s defense has improved after a somewhat shaky start to the season and that will need to continue in this series.

Lastly, FSU batters like Michael Edenfield, Devyn Flaherty, Kaley Mudge, Mack Leonard, Kalei Harding, and Jahni Kerr have to show up in this series. They must cash in on opportunities when they have runners on base, particuarly in scoring position because every run will count in these games against top teams. We saw that play out in the UCLA game.

I look for Kathryn Sandercock and Makenna Reid to shoulder much of the load on the mound for the Noles, with Allison Royalty and Mack Leonard making appearances. Sandercock, Emma Wilson, and Mack Leonard saw action in both games last year.

Friday’s game will begin at 7 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN+. The games on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 3 p.m ET.