Showtime: OK State Senior Makes WCWS History
OKLAHOMA CITY-- Oklahoma State senior Samantha Show follows her own rules. She wears her emotions on her sleeve for the world to see and handles it the only way she knows how.
“Anything that happens after a home run of mine, I don't plan out,” Show said about her famous bat flips. “Just whatever emotion I have inside me. Normally I have so much that's why the dramatic bat flips happen because it just needs to come out. I'm very emotional.”
Show turned Thursday night’s primetime matchup against the Florida Gators into Showtime when she pitched a complete-game and hit two solo homeruns in a 2-1 win at the Women’s College World Series. She became the second pitcher in WCWS history to hit two homers in one game.
In the top of the sixth inning, Show unloaded on a pitch from Kelly Barnhill for her 20th homer of the season. Upon finishing her swing, she took her bat and in a Thor-like way threw the bat down like a hammer.
With that she responded to what Barnhill said in a tape piece leading into the game.
“I don’t like bat flips. I’m a pitcher,” the Florida ace grinned. “I know some people say it’s the passion of the game but it’s a little premeditated for me. I understand getting hyped and excited but act like you’ve been there.”
Cowgirls head coach Kenny Gajewski knows that Show can rub some people the wrong way. He describes her as polarizing but that doesn’t take away the fact that she has become a superstar.
“She was a star when she got here,” Gajewski said. “Her first year at (Texas) A&M, she was unreal. She was a bonafide star. She’s a bonafide All-American. She’s one of the best players in the country...She’s either loved or she’s hated. She’s brought a little bit of that on herself. She wears that.”
Show has created a new normal for softball that is welcomed by some and hated by others. But, there’s no code that says she can’t do what she’s doing. Some may even say that what she's done this season was much needed.
“People in the game act like there’s some kind of softball code,” said Gajewski. “If you can find that code book, tell me, I’ll read the book… There is no code. She loves to play. She loves this school. She loves these girls that are on the team. She’s done everything we’ve asked her to do here and more. She leads and our young kids follow her around like little ducklings. She treats them well. They love her. She coaches them up. She’s also willing to take coaching from them. I think that’s what great players do.”
Last season at Texas A&M, Show was 12-5 in 20 appearances. Her earned run average was 2.24 and opponents were batting .236 against her. Offensively, her game struggled. She started 36 games, batted .290 with four homeruns and 25 RBIs. In the Super Regional against Florida, she didn’t throw a single pitch.
In OSU’s first WCWS win since 1998, Show limited the Gators to six hits, walked none and struck out two on 109 total pitches.
“I don’t think she’s a different pitcher,” said Florida head coach Tim Walton. “I think she’s a whole entirely different person. You look at everything about her, it’s different, better in every sense of the word. She’s just done a good job all the way around. It almost looks like she’s completely comfortable in who she is right now competing both offensively and defensively.”
Comfortable is exactly what Show is. She loves herself and she loves her teammates. Everything she does is for the girls and the girls love her back in return.
“I think she brings a lot of competitiveness and grittiness that we needed to this team,” said classmate Madi Sue Montgomery. “We feed off her. Her bat flips are for us. We feed off that. Then when she’s getting an out, clapping her hands, that’s for us. She’s trying to win the game for us. It has nothing to do with anything else. She really is for the girls.”