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Oklahoma State softball took a huge loss when star pitcher Kelly Maxwell chose to enter the transfer portal back in July. The two-time All-American led the Cowgirls to three-straight Women’s College World Series appearances.
Maxwell, the ace, was named the Big 12’s Co-Pitcher of the Year in 2023 after going 16-7 with a 1.91 ERA and a conference-high 229 strikeouts over more than 140 innings. Her departure was a huge blow to Oklahoma State’s national championship hopes for next season.
When Maxwell first hit the portal as a graduate transfer, Cowgirls head coach Kenny Gajewski issued a very positive statement that encouraged fans to treat her with due grace. His comments were extremely fair and surprisingly kind.
That is no longer the case.
Maxwell ultimately transferred to Oklahoma. The Sooners and Cowgirls, of course, are in-state rivals.
Although it was rumored that she was headed to Norman before the announcement, her official decision set Stillwater on fire. Oklahoma State’s fanbase melted down.
So too did Gajewski, who is actually a former baseball player at Oklahoma.
He recently spoke at ‘A Night With OSU’ in Oklahoma City and offered a very different perspective while speaking down toward Maxwell. His comments were vicious and targeted.
I think the biggest thing that we’re dealing with now with these young kids – and they’re still kids, they’re still young – is that they just can’t get out and kinda see 10 years down this road. They kinda see what’s under their feet.— OSU head softball coach Kenny Gajewski, via The O’Colly
Maxwell is 23. She is not a freshman. She’s not a kid.
If that wasn’t belittling enough, Gajewski went on to say that his fanbase will never accept Maxwell again. Whether he is right or not, that is a wild thing for a college softball (or any!) coach to say about one of their former players— let alone one of his best players, ever.
To make it even worse, Gajewski issued something of a threat. He implied that he will make sure that Maxwell is not welcome in Stillwater so long as he is the head coach.
My only disappointment for Kelly is that she went to OU, because now she’s lost everything here that she’s ever done. And as long as I’m here, it’ll be hard for her to come back here. That’s just the way it is.— OSU head softball coach Kenny Gajewski, via The O’Colly
Not only did Gajewski go back on what he said initially, the 51-year-old took it even further.