Softball Gets Pair of Wins over Ranked Teams at Unconquered Invite
Feb. 15, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Tulsa softball team opened the Unconquered Invitational Friday with a pair of wins over ranked opponents, as the Golden Hurricane defeated No. 25/21 Florida State, 3-2 (8 inn.), and No. 21/25 Hofstra, 9-6, at JoAnne Graf Field.
The Golden Hurricane (5-2) began the day with a tense, extra-inning victory over the host Seminoles. Junior Aimee Creger (2-0) pitched 7.1 no-hit innings, and struck out 13 batters in the complete-game win. Junior outfielder Haley Henshaw hit a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to give TU its eventual winning runs.
In the evening contest, the Hurricane slugged out a 9-6 victory over Hofstra. Henshaw went 3-for-4 with two RBI in the game, and sophomore first baseman Julie Kernen added a home run and three RBI. Junior third baseman Jill Barrett also tallied a pair of singles and two RBI.
Senior Lacey Middlebrooks (2-1) pitched 5.0 innings to earn the win. Just one of her three runs allowed was earned, and she added a pair of hits and scored a run at the plate.
Henshaw ended the day 4-for-8 with five RBI, while Barrett went 4-for-8 with two RBI in the two games.
"I was really proud of how we came out in the first game against Florida State. We've been in several high-tension games, so we responded very well," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "We kind of let down with a lead in the second game. I'm hoping we can play as well in a game with a lead as we do when it's 0-0 or a tight game. I told the team: when one phase isn't as sharp as you are accustomed to it being, you have to pick up the slack in another phase. The fielding let us down a little bit against Hofstra, but our hitting picked up the slack, and we kept scoring runs and answering back."
The Golden Hurricane plays Arkansas at 9 a.m. Saturday to complete the round robin. The tournament then moves into bracket play Saturday afternoon with game times and opponents to be determined.
Against Hofstra, Tulsa collected 13 hits, scoring a run in the first inning, two each in the third and fourth, and four more runs in the fifth frame. The Pride tallied 11 hits, and scored all of its runs in the fourth through sixth innings. Each team had two errors.
The Golden Hurricane got on the board with a run in the bottom of the first inning, as senior shortstop Samantha Cobb reached on a fielder's choice with two runners on base, stole second, and scored on Henshaw's single through the right side.
TU added two more runs in the third to take a 3-0 lead, as Cobb tripled down the right field line, and eventually scored on a passed ball. Middlebrooks followed the triple with a double to right center, and her pinch runner, junior Emma Horton, came around to score on Kernen's sacrifice fly.
Hofstra scored two unearned, two-out runs in the top of the fourth to make the score, 3-2. Center fielder Tess Ziemba reached on a fielder's choice for the second out, and third baseman Jess Hirschbuhl singled. Ziemba scored on a throwing error at third base, and following a pair of walks to load the bases, second baseman Tori Rocha singled home Hirschbuhl.
The Hurricane answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth when Barrett hit a two-run single to right center. The base hit scored junior second baseman Shelby Blanton and freshman left fielder Jodi Edmiston, who led off the frame with back-to-back singles to center.
The Pride responded with a run in the fifth when Ziemba singled through the right side to score catcher Erin Trippi, who hit a one-out double.
Tulsa put together a big four-run inning in the bottom of the fifth that proved to put the game out of reach, on the strength of a two-run homer by Kernen. Middlebrooks led off with a double down the left field line, and scored on a single through the right side by Henshaw. Kernen then took a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence for her first homer of the season. Edmiston drew a one-out walk, and moved around to score on a pair of fielding errors at second base and shortstop.
Hofstra scored three more runs in the sixth inning to make the score 9-6. Rocha led off with a single to right, and right fielder Caryn Bailey hit a one-out homer down the right field line. Shortstop Becca Bigler hit a two-out double down the left field line, and Ziemba drover her home with a double to left center.
TU freshman Caitlin Sill entered the game in relief of Middlebrooks to start the sixth inning. After the three-run sixth, she shut down the Pride bats in the seventh allowing only a base hit, to close out the game.
Hofstra starter Bella Corrao (0-1) allowed nine runs in 4.2 innings, and took the loss.
"That was just a clutch two-out home run by Haley (against Florida State). We had more scoring chances (than they did), and we were just hoping that we didn't miss out and they take advantage of a chance," Bargfeldt said of the big plays in both games. "Just as important as that home run, were the base hits by Barrett and Cobb that led to that. Hits were hard to come by.
"Then we had the game-saving catch by Everett in the second game. She made a leaping, crashing catch into the wall in center field - a highlight-reel catch that ended the sixth inning."
Tulsa 3, No. 25/21 Florida State, 2 (8 inn.)
Haley Henshaw hit a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning, and Aimee Creger pitched a complete game to lead the Tulsa softball team to a 3-2 (8 inn.) victory at No. 25/21 Florida State Friday afternoon.
Creger (3-0) took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of the scoreless contest, and pitched 7.1 hitless frames. She tossed 13 strikeouts and walked two batters in the game.
For the full recap, click here
Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaHurricane and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaHurricane. Follow Tulsa Softball on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaSoftball and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaWSoftball.
ATHLETICS TICKET OFFICE