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Sunday College Softball Recap

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Sooners Split Pair of Games at Littlewood Classic

PHOENIX, Ariz. – No. 7 Oklahoma fell to No. 3 Washington by a score of 3-1 Sunday afternoon at the Littlewood Classic.

Sophomores Kelsey Stevens and Taylor Dewbery limited the high-powered Washington to a season-low three runs, but the OU offense was held in check by UW starter Bryana Walker.

The Huskies entered the contest averaging 10.1 runs per game and had outscored opponents 52-2 in its four preceding games at the Littlewood Classic.

Walker struck out 14 and allowed one unearned run on three hits with two walks. OU's run came in the second inning on a bases-loaded fielding error by UW shortstop Ali Aguilar.

Jessica Vest was 2-2 with a walk in the game. With the loss, the Sooners have now lost as many games this season as they did during last year's national championship run.

Later in the day, the Sooners saw their five-run lead disappear in the top of the seventh, but rallied with two runs in the bottom of the inning to defeat Michigan State, 7-6 in the finale of the Littlewood Classic.

Oklahoma led 5-0 going into the top of the seventh, but Michigan State batted around and put up six runs in the frame, only two of which were earned, to take a brief lead.

The Sooners' rally started in the bottom of the seventh with a walk by Georgia Casey. A sacrifice bunt by Erin Miller moved her to second base before Lauren Chamberlain drew a four-pitch walk. Shelby Pendley then delivered the game-winning hit by lining a double over the left fielder's head. It was her third double of the game, tying a school record.

Senior Brittany Williams matched a career high in the win with five runs batted in. She was 2-3 with a two-run double, two-run single and an RBI groundout.

Oklahoma returns to action this week at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. Action takes place Thursday-Saturday, beginning with a 7:30 p.m. CT contest against Boise State. The marquee matchup of the weekend has OU taking on No. 12 UCLA on Friday at 8 p.m. CT.


Cowgirls Run-Rule UTSA, 8-0

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – The Oklahoma State softball team defeated UTSA 8-0 in five innings here Sunday afternoon at Roadrunner Stadium. The Cowgirls finished 5-0 on the weekend at the UTSA Classic.

For the third-straight game, the Cowgirls scored first. In the bottom of the first inning, Shelby Davis led off with a walk, was sacrificed over to second and stole third. She later scored when Tiffany Mikkelson reached on a fielder's choice. After a Danielle Riddle single to load the bases, Mikkelson scored when Gessenia DeLaCruz walked for a 2-0 lead.

The Cowgirls extended the lead to three in the bottom of the fourth. Simone Freeman led off the frame with a base hit, and with one out, advanced to third on a bunt single by Davis. Freeman scored on a sacrifice fly by Ari Morrison, giving OSU a 3-0 advantage.

Despite recording just three hits through four innings, OSU took control offensively in the bottom of the fifth. A base hit and a hit batsman put runners on first and second with one out. DeLaCruz hit a double down the left field line, scoring both runners. After a pitching change, Freeman and Shannon Kaufman both had base hits to load the bases. A Davis single through the right side scored DeLaCruz, and Morrison's sacrifice fly scored Freeman for a 7-0 lead. Ettinger's single to right scored Kaufman and ended the game by run rule.

Offensively, the Cowgirls finished with 11 hits. Davis and Ettinger both went 2-for-3 and each had an RBI. Riddle and Freeman also went 2-for-3. In the circle, Freeman tossed her first no-hitter of the season, and continued to dominate opposing batters, striking out eight. She has a 10.8 strikeouts per game average so far this season.

The Cowgirls head to Palm Springs, Calif., next weekend to participate in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Feb. 21-23. OSU will face Pacific, San Diego State, BYU, Cal State-Northridge and Long Beach State during the tournament.


Tulsa Softball Beats No. 8 Texas A&M 5-2

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Senior Aimee Creger recorded 11 strikeouts and junior Erica Sampson homered and drove in three runs to lead the Tulsa softball team to a 5-2 in over No. 8 Texas A&M at the Aggie Classic Saturday at the Aggie Softball Complex.

The Golden Hurricane (9-1) scored all five runs in the first two frames, boosted by the two-run shot from Sampson in the first inning. Creger improved to 4-0 after allowing two earned runs on four hits and four walks in 6.0 innings. Bailey Erwin pitched a perfect seventh to pick up her second save of the weekend.

Freshman designated player Jill Roye singled twice and drove in a run, and senior right fielder Haley Henshaw hit an RBI double. Senior third baseman Jill Barrett walked twice and scored two runs, and Henshaw and sophomore catcher Catherine Horner each scored once. Rachel Fox (3-1) allowed all five earned runs in 1.1 innings, and took the loss for the Aggies (9-2).

The Hurricane earned its second win in two tries over a ranked opponent this season. On Feb. 8, Tulsa beat Louisville, which was ranked 18th at the time, 4-0. The Golden Hurricane completed a 5-0 weekend, including its victory over the Aggies. TU also picked up wins over Oregon State, 9-1 and 4-0, and McNeese State, 5-4 (8 inn.) and 3-2.

"(Scoring the runs early) was a key, because it allowed us to pitch and play from in front," Tulsa coach John Bargfeldt said. "They still put some pressure on us. Aimee, pitching her third day in a row, had to labor quite a bit trying to find the strike zone. She just battled and kept working through it. It's good to jump on the board early against anybody, but especially when you're trying to knock off a ranked team."

Tulsa started with two runs in the top of the first on Sampson's two-run home run to left field, which scored Barrett, who led off the game with a walk.

The Golden Hurricane scored three more in the top of the second inning to extend its lead to 5-0. Horner led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman third baseman Maggie Withee, and scored on a double off the fence in left by Henshaw. Barrett drew a walk, and after a pitching change and a pop out, Sampson hit an RBI single to left center, scoring Barrett. Roye then singled through the left side, scoring Barrett.

The Aggies scored a run in the bottom of the second when third baseman Amber Garza walked, moved to second on an illegal pitch, and scored on a single up the middle by shortstop Taran Tyler. Texas A&M made the score 5-2 in the third when right fielder Cassie Tysarczyk drew a bases-loaded walk, plating left fielder Brittany Clopton, who led off the inning with a base on balls.

The Hurricane threatened with runners on second and third in the fourth and fifth innings, but in the end, all it needed was the five runs it put on the board in the opening two frames. After the third inning, the only two baserunners Texas A&M mustered came via a single in the fifth and a double in the sixth.

"It was good to see the offense helping out a little bit more," said Bargfeldt. "We had a couple of games where we had more than a one or two-run cushion. That definitely picked up a bit this weekend, and the pitching and the defense still stayed very solid. We scrapped and we played, and we grinded out at bats. With the three other teams that were here and for us to come out 5-0, I think this may be one of the best weekends we've ever had since I've been here."

The Golden Hurricane travels to Georgia next weekend for the Georgia Tech/Kennesaw State Crossover Tournament. TU plays at Kennesaw State on Friday in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m., and a doubleheader at Georgia Tech beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. The Hurricane concludes the tournament against Georgia State at 9 a.m. Sunday.

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