No. 15 Tulsa Beats East Carolina, Wins Series
TULSA, Okla. – Senior Shelby Blanton went 3-for-4 with two RBI, and senior Jill Barrett and junior Erica Samspon each scored twice to lead the 15th-ranked Tulsa softball team to a series-clinching 8-3 victory over East Carolina Sunday afternoon at the Collins Family Softball Complex.
Senior Aimee Creger (19-1) picked up her second win of the series, tossing nine strikeouts and allowing two earned runs on seven hits in a complete-game effort. The Golden Hurricane improved to 38-5 overall and 11-2 in C-USA play. ECU starter Sarah Christian (15-7) allowed five runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings for the Pirates (21-17, 10-8 C-USA).
For the first time this weekend the Hurricane scored first, taking a 1-0 lead in the third on a solo home run by Sampson. TU had to fight from behind again after ECU took a 2-1 advantage in the top of the fifth. A big response in the bottom of the frame gave Tulsa the lead for good, 6-2. The Hurricane added two more runs in the sixth, while ECU added its last run in the seventh.
Blanton singled in the first inning, then jarred an RBI double in the fifth and an RBI triple in the sixth inning. Barrett was 2-for-4 in the game and Sampson finished 1-for-3. The top three batters in the order – Barrett, Blanton and Sampson – totaled six of Tulsa's nine hits, going 6-for-11 with six runs scored and three RBI.
With Tulsa trailing 2-1 in the fifth stanza, Barrett hit a one-out single to center field and Blanton followed with a double to left center to knot the game at two apiece. Sampson was hit by a pitch and junior first baseman Julie Kernen drew a walk to load the bases. Following a strikeout, senior center fielder Cierra Hughes and sophomore catcher Catherine Horner drew back-to-back RBI walks to make the score 4-2. Freshman Jill Roye hit a pinch-hit single through the right side, scoring Kernen. Hughes scored on the play when the throw back to the infield hit Roye in the leg behind first base. TU led 6-2 after the inning.
Barrett led off the sixth inning with a triple off the fence in left center, and Blanton followed with a triple into the right field corner. Kernen plated Blanton with a one-out sacrifice fly to left field, extending the TU lead to 8-2.
East Carolina scored its first run in the fourth inning on an RBI single by third baseman Alex Fieldhouse. The hit scored second baseman Kristi Oshiro, who led off the frame with a double. The Pirates took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth on an RBI base hit by catcher Abby Wynne. The final ECU run was scored in the seventh on a solo home run to left field by designated player Jasmine Robbins.
Tulsa had runners on first and third with two outs in each of the first two innings before breaking through with Sampson's homer in the third. TU sent 10 batters to the plate in the five-run fifth, tallying three hits and three walks, plus a hit batter.
The Hurricane erased baserunners in the first and third innings when Horner gunned down the runners trying to steal second. ECU got a two-out double in the second inning, but a foul pop up ended the frame. Creger retired the side in order in the sixth with a pair of strikeouts. The Pirates put runners on first and third after the homer in the seventh, but Creger got a strikeout and a grounder back to the box to end the game.
Tulsa won its fourth three-game conference series of the season, and sixth straight three-game series, dating back to the end of last season. Last weekend, TU split two games at UAB.
The Golden Hurricane returns to action next weekend when it travels for a three-game C-USA set at UTSA on Friday and Saturday, April 18-19.
Sooners Fall To Baylor In Series Finale
WACO, Texas – No. 13 Oklahoma's 14-game winning streak came to an end Sunday afternoon with an 8-6 loss at No. 12 Baylor in the finale of a three-game series. The win streak ends as tied for the ninth longest in school history.
Oklahoma falls to 32-9 overall and 9-1 in the Big 12, while Baylor's record jumps to 30-9 overall and 4-3 in league play. The Sooners still remain in first place in the conference, staying ahead of Texas (26-16, 6-1), whom OU faces next weekend in Norman.
Sophomore Whitney Ellis led the offense by going 1-for-3 with a run scored and three runs batted in. She brought in her first run with a squeeze bunt in the first inning and then added a two-run triple, the first of her career, in the third inning.
Fellow sophomore Kady Self drove in two runs of her own. She was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Four different pitchers saw action in the circle for OU. Sophomore Kelsey Stevens suffered the loss in relief, snapping a string of wins in her previous eight appearances, to drop to 23-6 on the year.
Oklahoma returns to action Thursday when Texas visits Norman for a three-game series. Thursday night's contest begins at 8 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.
Cowgirl Softball Drops Series Finale to Texas Tech
LUBBOCK, Texas – The Oklahoma State softball team fell to Texas Tech 11-3 in five innings in the final game of the three-game series Sunday afternoon at Rocky Johnson Stadium.
Texas Tech (30-15, 3-6 Big 12) jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning off a three-run home run to centerfield to put the Red Raiders up 3-0. TTU added two more in the in the bottom of the second on a wild pitch and an illegal pitch to extend the lead to 5-0. In the bottom of the third, the Red Raiders scored five more runs, capped by a three-run homer by Brittany Lee to go up 10-0.
The Cowgirls finally plated a run in the top of the fourth inning when Ari Morrison scored on a double to leftfield by Tiffany Mikkelson. The next batter, Madison Ellis, hit her second double of the series down the leftfield line, scoring Whitney Whitehorn and Mikkelson to make the score 10-3.
Texas Tech made it 11-3 in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run for the final score.
At the plate, the Cowgirls had six hits. Shannon Kaufman went 2-for-2. Mikkelson had a double and a run batted in while Ellis had one double and two RBIs. Morrison and Whitehorn both had a base hit for the Cowgirls. Shelby Davis had her hitting streak snapped at 15 games, tying for the second-longest streak in school history.
Simone Freeman (18-10) started the game for the Cowgirls, going one and two-thirds innings and allowing five runs on two hits while striking out three. Peyton Walker entered the game in the bottom of the second and pitched a third of an inning, allowing one run. Whitehorn entered the game in the third and threw one inning, giving up four runs on six hits, and Meagan Lively pitched the final frame, allowing one run on two hits.
The Cowgirls (23-18, 3-7) return to action April 24-26 for a three-game series against Big 12 foe Baylor at Cowgirl Stadium.