No. 15 Tulsa Clinches C-USA Regular Season Title with Doubleheader Win over Middle Tennessee
TULSA, Okla. – Senior pitcher Aimee Creger pitched her seventh no-hitter of her career, the third this season, and first baseman Julie Kernen recorded five RBI to lead No. 15 University of Tulsa softball team (44-5, 17-2 C-USA) to an 8-0 win over Middle Tennessee (8-41, 2-17 C-USA) in five innings in game one and the Golden Hurricane hit three home runs and Bailey Erwin pitched 6.0 shutout innings in game two in a 6-1 win over MTSU at Collins Softball Complex on Saturday.
With the two wins and North Texas' (28-17, 12-7 C-USA) two losses to FIU on Saturday in Miami, Fla., the Golden Hurricane clinched the Conference USA regular season crown and receives the No. 1 seed in the tournament in Boca Raton, Fla., from May 8-10.
The Golden Hurricane concludes the series against Middle Tennessee on Sunday at the new time of 11 a.m. instead of noon at the Collins Softball Complex in its final home conference game of the season.
Creger (23-1) recorded her 1,000th career strikeout with her third strikeout of the second inning, fifth in the game, in game one. Creger went the distance pitching 5.0 innings with five walks and nine strikeouts. Bailey Erwin (12-2) pitched 6.0 shutout innings giving up two hits with three strikeouts in game two.
As a team, the Golden Hurricane pitched 12.0 innings giving up five hits with one earned run with six walks and 13 strikeouts.
Senior shortstop Jill Barrett went 3-for-7 (.429) in both games on Senior Day giving her 83 hits on the season, which ties the single season that Barrett set last season.
Kernen led the Golden Hurricane at the plate on the day with a 4-for-5 (.800) performance with two doubles, a home run, two runs scored and seven RBI, while left fielder Erica Sampson went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI.
The Golden Hurricane went 18-for-47 (.383) on the day with 14 runs scored, four doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI. With the first run scored against MTSU, Tulsa set a single season record and has recorded 310 runs scored this season breaking last season's record of 296. The Hurricane also set a new single season record in home runs with 49 breaking the previous record of 47 set in 2010 and with 280 RBI breaking the previous record of 271 set last season.
No. 15 Tulsa 6 Middle Tennessee 1
Barrett led Tulsa at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance with a run scored, while Kernen drove in two runs and right fielder Haley Henshaw scored twice.
Tulsa broke a scoreless tie in the third inning by scoring four runs to take a 4-0 lead. After a fly out to left field to begin the inning, Henshaw walked and Barrett's single and advance to second base from the throw to third base put runners on second and third with one out.
Second baseman Shelby Blanton's RBI single scored Henshaw to give the Golden Hurricane a 1-0 lead, while Sampson added an RBI sacrifice fly that score Barrett for a 2-0 lead.
Kernen belted her eighth home run of the season to left field, a two-run shot, drove in Blanton for a 4-0 lead.
Catcher Catherine Horner hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to left field and Henshaw added a solo home run to give Tulsa a 6-0 lead after four innings.
Middle Tennessee (8-41, 2-17 C-USA) scored its only in the top of the seventh inning with an RBI single by Austyn Whaley to cut TU's lead to 6-1.
Caitlin McClure (2-13) went the distance pitching 6.0 innings, giving up eight hits with six earned runs with two walks and a strikeout. Samantha Nieves led MTSU at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance.
No. 15 Tulsa 8, Middle Tennessee 0 (5)
Kernen went 3-for-3 with five RBI and a run scored, while left fielder Erica Sampson also went 3-for-3 with three runs scored an RBI.
Kernen broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single that drove home Sampson to give Tulsa a 1-0 lead.
Kernen drove home two more runs with a double to left center in the bottom of the second inning driving home second baseman Shelby Blanton and Sampson to give the Golden Hurricane a 3-0 lead.
The Golden Hurricane added five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to end the game. Shortstop Jill Barrett led off the inning with a base hit to right center, followed by Blanton's single up the middle to put runners on first and second with no outs.
Sampson's RBI single up the middle drove home Barrett for a 4-0 lead and Kernen's two RBI double drove home Blanton and Sampson for a 6-0 lead.
Center fielder Cierra Hughes walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Catcher Catherine Horner doubled to left center to put runners on second and third and Kaitlin Allen, who pinched hit for third baseman Maggie Withee, drove in the final run with a RBI single off the third baseman's glove to drive home Hughes.
Shelby Stinnett (3-15) went the distance pitching 4.1 innings giving up 10 hits on eight runs with four walks and five strikeouts. The Blue Raiders (8-40 2-16 C-USA) best opportunity to score a run was in the fifth inning as it started the inning with two walks, but a fielder's choice to throw out the lead runner, a foul out to the third baseman and a fly out to center field, ended MTSU's threat.
The Golden Hurricane concludes its final home C-USA game on Sunday against Middle Tennessee at 11 a.m. at the Collins Softball Complex and hosts Oklahoma State on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in its final home game of the season.
Sooners Sweep UAB
NORMAN, Okla. – No. 12 Oklahoma (38-10) ran its non-conference winning streak to nine games with a doubleheader sweep of UAB (29-22) Saturday. OU won in five innings in game one, 11-3, then posted an 8-4 victory in game two.
Game One: Oklahoma 11, UAB 3 (5 Innings)
Lauren Chamberlain returned after missing 23 games due to a back injury and went 2-2 with a two-run double in the first inning, a run scored and a walk.
A seven-run second broke the game open as junior Shelby Pendley hit a two-run single, senior Brittany Williams and sophomore Whitney Ellis added RBI singles and senior Javen Henson hit a three-run double with the bases loaded.
Williams also hit a two-run homer in the third, her seventh of the year and the 32nd of her career. She finished 2-2 with three runs scored to match a season high in hits and a career high in runs scored.
Senior Destinee Martinez tied a career high with three runs scored and two stolen bases, and she finished 3-for-3 at the plate.
Game Two: Oklahoma 8, UAB 4
Shelby Pendley tied a school record with two triples and finished with five RBI in the win. She hit a bases-loaded triple in the second inning and added a two-run triple in the fourth.
It's the ninth time an OU player has hit two triples in a game, the last of which was done by Amber Spaulding against Oklahoma State on May 11, 2006.
Trailing 2-0 in the second, OU answered with a five-run inning. Senior Destinee Martinez had an RBI single and Pendley added her three-run triple. Pendley actually scored on the play, as well, as the throw to third base went into OU's dugout.
The Sooners added three more runs in the fourth thanks to Pendley's triple that scored a pair and junior Georgia Casey's sac fly.
Cowgirls Drop Game Two Against Texas
AUSTIN, Texas – The Oklahoma State softball team dropped the second game of the three-game series against Texas, 12-1 in five innings here Saturday evening at McCombs Field.
Texas (29-19, 8-4 Big 12) struck first in the bottom of the third inning when Lindsey Stephens hit a grand slam to left center. The Longhorns added another run in the inning to take a 5-0 lead.
The following frame, the Cowgirls (25-22, 5-10) cut into the lead on a solo home run to left center by Tiffany Mikkelson, her sixth of the season. However, in the bottom half of the inning, Texas added seven runs to take the game by a 12-1 final score.
Whitney Whitehorn (4-8) started the day in the circle for the Cowgirls and gave up five runs on four hits and striking out two. Meagan Lively entered the game in the bottom of the fourth and pitched a third of an inning, allowing seven runs on four hits while striking out one. Peyton Walker relieved Lively and did not allow a run in the two-thirds inning that she pitched.
The Cowgirls had two hits on the day, a base hit by Danielle Riddle and the solo home run by Mikkelson.
Oklahoma State returns to the diamond tomorrow morning for the rubber match of the three-game series. First pitch is set for 11:30 a.m.