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Tulsa Softball Moves into Finals at Unconquered Invitational

Senior Lacey Middlebrooks hit a two-run walkoff home run, drove in all three runs for TU, and earned the win in the circle to lead the Golden Hurricane to a 3-1 win over Arkansas in the Unconquered Invitational Saturday.
Senior Lacey Middlebrooks hit a two-run walkoff home run, drove in all three runs for TU, and earned the win in the circle to lead the Golden Hurricane to a 3-1 win over Arkansas in the Unconquered Invitational Saturday.
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Feb. 16, 2013

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Senior Lacey Middlebrooks hit a two-run walkoff home run to push the Tulsa softball team past Arkansas, 3-1, in the semifinal round of the Unconquered Invitational Saturday afternoon at JoAnne Graf Field.

Middlebrooks (3-1) earned the win with a complete-game two-hitter in the circle, and drove in all three runs for the Golden Hurricane (6-3). Hope McLemore (1-1) took the complete-game loss. The Razorbacks (9-3) defeated TU, 14-3, Saturday morning in the teams' final round robin contest.

Tulsa plays the host No. 25/21 Florida State in the tournament championship game at 9 a.m. CT Sunday.

Arkansas got on the board in the second inning with a solo home run by second baseman Jennifer Rambo. The only other hit allowed by Middlebrooks in the contest was a single to third base in the third inning by right fielder Stephanie Canfield.

After threatening with runners in scoring position in three of the first four frames, the Hurricane knotted the score at one-all when, with runners on the corners and one out, Middlebrooks hit into a fielder's choice, scoring senior center fielder Caitlin Everett from third base.

In the seventh inning, with two out, senior shortstop Samantha Cobb drew a walk, Middlebrooks drove a 1-2 pitch out of the park in center field, giving TU the win.

"It all started with pitching," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "She (Middlebrooks) only gave up two hits and had all three RBI. We made some outstanding defensive plays too. Shelby Blanton made an outstanding play at second base. It was basically one mistake pitch that was hit for a home run. But we came back and tied it, and then got a walkoff home run. It's always fun to be a part of those."

Arkansas 14, Tulsa 3 (5 inn.)

Arkansas used a seven-run second inning and five-run third inning to pull away from Tulsa with a 14-3 win Saturday morning in the teams' final round robin game of the tournament.

The team faced rematch in bracket play, as the Golden Hurricane had earned the top seed with its wins over Florida State (3-2) and Hofstra (9-6) on Friday, and Arkansas was the fourth seed.

The Razorbacks scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning, but Tulsa responded with three runs in the top of the second. Arkansas came back with 12 runs over the next two innings to end the game after five.

Lacey Middlebrooks was 2-for-2 and scored a run, while Caitlin Everett, freshman catcher Catherine Horner and junior left fielder Cierra Hughes all had RBI for the Hurricane.

Middlebrooks led off the TU second with a single to center field, and was followed by a base hit from junior right fielder Haley Henshaw. After a fielder's choice, sophomore first baseman Julie Kernen walked to load the bases, and Horner and Hughes drew consecutive walks to plate two runs. Everett then singled up the middle to drive home Kernen.

Arkansas' Jennifer Rambo was 2-for-3 with four RBI, including a two-run single in the first inning and a two-run triple in the second. Clarisa Navarro was 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs, hitting a two-run double in the second inning, and an RBI single in the third.

TU starter freshman Caitlin Sill (0-2) took the loss. Freshman Hayley Bottino made her collegiate debut, taking over in the second inning, and tossing 3.0 complete. Arkansas' Kimmy Beasley entered the game in the second inning, and earned the win, pitching the final 3.2 frames.

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