OSU softball: Alysen Febrey, the lefty-hitting first baseman Cowgirls long ago recruited, finally in the lineup
STILLWATER — In his first four years as the Oklahoma State softball coach, Kenny Gajewski had been harboring one secret goal for his lineup.
“I’ve been dreaming about a left-handed first baseman since I got here,” Gajewski said.
He had tried to recruit one in his first season with the Cowgirls, but that sweet-swinging lefty, Alysen Febrey, signed with Georgia.
Yet after three successful seasons with the Bulldogs, Febrey — a native of Peachtree City, Georgia — sought a new home for her final year of college eligibility. And Gajewski was there waiting once again with his pitch about how perfectly she would fit into his lineup at first base.
“Oh yeah, he tried to sell me on that when he was trying to recruit me the first time,” Febrey said with a laugh.
Entering her lone season as a Cowgirl, Febrey will be penciled in at first base, where she fulfills Gajewski’s goal, as well as a more tangible need with her bat.
OSU has to replenish a lot of offensive production and balance out a righty-heavy lineup.
Febrey helps both causes.
She batted .314 with nine home runs and 38 runs batted in last season, and is off to a strong start at OSU. Through nine games, Febrey has a .314 batting average with two homers and seven RBI.
Batting second in the order behind the Cowgirls’ newfound leadoff hitter, Kiley Naomi, Febrey has settled in quickly.
“I had three pretty good years at Georgia, so coming from that, I was confident in myself as a player,” Febrey said. “This team has been very welcoming from the beginning. It’s been a transition with different coaching styles and different teammates, but I’ve adjusted really well and I’m enjoying myself.”
Gajewski’s simple message has helped as well.
“Just be you and have fun,” he told her. “We’ll pick you up. You don’t have to do everything. We’ve got a good team around you.”
Febrey already has been part of five double plays on what looks to be a talented defensive infield. And she’s taking advantage of the benefits Gajewski longed for with his left-handed first baseman.
“First base kind of gets overlooked, but basically, the ball goes over there just about every play,” Febrey said. “Being left-handed and being able to have more range is definitely an advantage.”
Where: Birmingham, Ala.
Friday's games: OSU vs. Ole Miss (10 a.m.), OSU vs. Louisiana (12:30 p.m.)