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Softball Beats Creighton, 2-1, in Nine to Win UTA Classic

Freshman Shelby Blanton scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Golden Hurricane a, 2-1, win over Creighton Sunday.
Freshman Shelby Blanton scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Golden Hurricane a, 2-1, win over Creighton Sunday.
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Feb. 27, 2011

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ARLINGTON, Texas - Haley Henshaw singled off the right center field fence to score Shelby Blanton in the bottom of the ninth inning and give the Tulsa softball team a, 2-1, win over Creighton in the championship game of the UT Arlington Classic at Allan Saxe Field.

The Golden Hurricane improved to 10-5 on the season, and will play its home opener Wednesday against No. 18 Oklahoma State at the Donna J. Hardesty Complex.

Freshman Aimee Creger (5-1) pitched a complete game to earn the win for TU. She struck out 15 batters and allowed five hits and four walks. Becca Changstrom (3-2) took the loss for the Bluejays (6-4) after allowing two runs on five hits, with eight strikeouts and three walks in 9.0 innings.

"I can't say enough about Haley Henshaw coming off the bench cold in that situation and hitting a line drive off the fence," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "She probably hadn't had an at-bat in two games, and came in and was calm at the plate, and got the hit.

"It was good to see our players make so many big plays in a close, hard-fought game," continued Bargfeldt. "Everybody kept their cool. We made good decisions on the basepaths, and made good decisions in the field. Aimee (Creger), of course, did a great job pitching."

The Hurricane took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on an RBI double, and Creighton came back with a solo home run in the top of the sixth to even the score. Both teams had opportunities to score in the eighth inning, but could not get a run across the plate, and TU won the game in the ninth.

The eighth and ninth innings were played under international tiebreaker rules. The freshman Blanton came in to pinch-run for Creger, and was placed at second base. Blanton then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior second baseman Skylar Swanson, and scored two batters later when the freshman Henshaw, in a pinch-hitting role, banged a line drive off the fence in right center.

Freshman third baseman Jill Barrett drove in Tulsa's run in the third inning with a double that scored sophomore center fielder Caitlin Everett, who had reached on an infield single to third.

Creger allowed just three hits through five innings, and only two Creighton baserunners reached second base through the first five frames. Then, in the top of the sixth inning, designated player McKenna Setlik hit a solo homer to left field to knot the game at, 1-1.

After allowing the home run and a follow-up single with no outs in the sixth, Creger clamped down and allowed no more hits and just one walk to the Bluejays, adding five strikeouts in the final four innings.

In the eighth inning, Creighton bunted its runner to third, but a failed squeeze attempt allowed sophomore catcher Cassidy Bowen to pick-off the runner at third base for the second out. Creger struck out the next batter for the final out.

In the ninth, Creger struck out the first two batters and coaxed a fly out to end the top of the inning.

For all Tulsa softball news and information, visit www.TulsaHurricane.com. Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaHurricane and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaHurricane.