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Softball Sunday: Cowgirls, Hurricane Big Winners

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Here is a recap of the softball action across Oklahoma on Sunday:

Oklahoma State

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Oklahoma State softball team won the Mizuno Classic Sunday afternoon by defeating Cleveland State 10-1 in the championship game. Tarah Ettinger connected on two home runs in the title contest and racked up seven RBIs in the game. Later in the day, the Cowgirls (13-12) played Santa Clara and defeated the Broncos 13-3 in five innings.

Cleveland State (5-9) scored first in the top of the third inning when Erica McNew hit a solo home run over the left field wall.

The Cowgirls responded in the bottom of the inning when Tamara Brown scored on a double by Tarah Ettinger to tie the game at 1-1. In the bottom of the fifth, the Cowgirls added three runs to the board when Ettinger hit her first three-run home run of the game to give OSU a 4-1 lead.

OSU added a dagger in the bottom of the sixth inning, emphasized by Stephanie Brewer's two-run double and Ettinger's second three-run home run of the game to give the Cowgirls a 10-1 lead and the victory.

Ettinger was 4-for-4 with seven RBIs, a double and two home runs. Brown was 2-for-2 with a double and Brewer was 2-for-3 with a double.

Starter Kat Espinosa (5-6) went six innings, allowing one run on five hits and 10 strike outs.

In the second game against Santa Clara (2-18), the Broncos took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on a three-run home run by Jordan Newell.

The Cowgirls responded with a four-spot in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by Tiffany Mikkelson's two–run double, scoring Shelby Davis and Brown. OSU added two more runs in the bottom of the second on Mikkelson's two-run home run to center field to give the Cowgirls a 6-3 lead.

The Cowgirl's then put on a big fourth inning by scoring four runs on five hits. The inning was highlighted by Taylor Woodall's two-run double to left center, scoring Brewer and Amy Graham. OSU ended the game in the bottom of the fifth innings when Graham hit a three-run home run to left center to give them the 13-3 victory.

Mikkelson went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs, while Graham was 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs.

Espinosa started and pitched two innings, allowing three runs on three hits and striking out two. Reliever Simone Freeman pitched three innings, allowing no runs on two hits and five strikeouts.

The Cowgirls return home this Wednesday for a midweek tilt with Central Arkansas at 5 p.m. at Cowgirl Stadium.

Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. – Aimee Creger tossed 11 strikeouts in a one-hitter to lead the 21st-ranked Tulsa softball team to an 8-0, five-inning, win over Marshall Sunday at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

Haley Hensahw, Julie Kernen and Cassidy Bowen each had two-run hits as the Golden Hurricane (19-5, 3-0 C-USA) took advantage of a pair of Marshall errors and compiled eight runs in the first three innings. Creger (11-1) was dominant, striking out the side in the first and fifth innings to bookend a performance in which she walked just one batter.

Jazmine Valle had the lone hit for the Thundering Herd (10-12, 0-3 C-USA), a liner into right center with two out in the fourth inning. Marshall starter Andi Williamson (10-11) took the loss. Four of the eight runs she allowed in 2.2 innings were earned.

TU won both games of the doubleheader on Saturday, 6-0, and 9-6.

"(Aimee) was throwing the ball very well all weekend," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "I thought she had excellent movement both days. That's evident by the fact that she had a lot of swing-and-misses. I'm pretty proud of the at-bats we had all weekend. Facing a pitcher that gave us fits last year (Williamson), I thought we really put some good swings on her this weekend. I think that's a good sign. It may be a product of the competition we've faced coming in here. We're maybe a little bit more prepared for that type of pitching. I think that was the case this weekend, with great at-bats."

Henshaw put Tulsa on the board in the first inning with a two-run single to right center that scored Jill Barrett and Samantha Cobb. Barrett, Cobb and Lacey Middlebrooks earned consecutive walks before the RBI hit.

The Hurricane added two more runs in the second, one of which came on a single by Cobb. Bowen walked and went to second on a bunt single by Caitlin Everett. Barrett reached on a fielder's choice grounder to third that forced out Bowen, but the ensuing throw across the diamond was in the dirt and got past the first baseman. The error allowed Everett and Barrett to move up to second and third, and Everett ran home when the throw back to the infield went to second base. Cobb then singled to right center, scoring Barrett to make the score 4-0.

TU put up four runs in the third inning on a two-run double by Kernen and a two-run home run by Bowen. With two out in the inning, Creger reached on a throwing error by the third baseman and Shelby Blanton followed with a walk. Kernen then doubled off the top of the fence in right center, scoring Creger and Blanton. Bowen then launched her first homer of the season, a shot off the scoreboard in left field.

"I thought we played two excellent games (this weekend)," said Bargfeldt. "The first and the third game, I would call excellent games, when you start thinking about all four phases. In the second game, we had to have a couple of phases of our game pick up some others. But, all-in-all, our ultimate goal was to go ahead and, first, win the series. Then when you win the series, you want to come out and get that sweep, and they did an excellent job today of coming out and taking charge right off the bat, right at the beginning of the game."

The Golden Hurricane returns to action Thursday, when it plays host to Indiana State at 5 p.m. at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

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