Oklahoma is still adjusting to life without junior first baseman Lauren Chamberlain, the team’s captain and best player who is out with a back injury.
The defending national champion Sooners also don’t have superstar Keilani Ricketts, whose arm and bat helped Oklahoma to back-to-back College World Series final appearances in 2012 and 2013.
“They weren’t in the lineup very much last year, so they’re learning on the fly,” Gasso said of her young batters. “It’s fun to watch them because they’re getting better. We’re seeing growth, we’re seeing development, but we’re still finding ways to win.”
Stevens, meanwhile, improved to 17-5 on the season with Wednesday’s shutout. She struck out eight Cowgirls and allowed six hits.
Oklahoma State coach Rich Wieligman said he was proud that his team didn’t quit and put itself in a position to win late Wednesday.
“That’s the way it’s been all year,” Wieligman said. “They’re giving themselves opportunities, and that’s huge.
“They’re showing up ready to play; we’ve just gotta turn them into W’s now.”