Six-Run Fourth Leads Softball Past Iowa State, 9-3
March 4, 2011
TULSA, Okla. - Tulsa used a six-run fourth inning and freshman Aimee Creger struck out 12 batters as the Golden Hurricane defeated Iowa State , 9-3, in the Holiday Inn Tulsa-City Center Festival on a chilly and windy Friday evening at the Donna J. Hardesty Sports Complex.
Creger pitched a complete game, allowing two earned runs on four hits, reaching double-digit strikeouts for the fourth time in six starts this season. The Golden Hurricane improved to 12-6 on the season, while Iowa State fell to 9-8. Cyclones starter Rachel Zabriskie fell to 4-4 on the season after allowing eight runs on eight hits, with six strikeouts in 4.0 innings.
Sophomore shortstop Samantha Cobb led the way at the plate for Tulsa, going 2-for-3 with five RBI, including a three-run home run in the Hurricane fourth. Sophomore center fielder Caitlin Everett went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, and Jill Barrett added two RBI and two runs on a pair of hits.
"I was really pleased with the way we swung the bats in conditions that were tough to hit in," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "We needed it, because we didn't start off very tough defensively. Again, any time a team responds to adversity, and especially responds the way that they did, you have to feel pretty good about that. You're never going to be perfect defensively and pitching, and that's why there are three phases of the game. We were pretty exceptional in one phase of the game, and that kind of bailed us out a little bit today. It's tough for pitchers to get the right grip on the ball in these conditions, and I though Aimee did a really nice job of doing that. Like I said, it's tough to drive the ball in this type of weather, and we did a great job of that all the way through the lineup."
Iowa State struck first with two runs in the top of the third. Center fielder Heidi Kidwell reached on a fielder's choice and left fielder Carleigh Berry followed with a single to left field. Sara Davison singled to third, and a throwing error allowed Kidwell to score, and the two baserunners to advance to second and third. A ground out scored Berry, giving the Cyclones a, 2-0, lead.
Tulsa answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. Everett reached base on a bunt single and Barrett followed with a base hit to center field. Cobb hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Everett, and Barrett scored on a wild pitch to even the game at 2-2.
Middlebrooks led off the fourth inning with a double to the fence in right field and moved to third on a ground out. Tulsa's next five runs in the frame were scored with two out.
Bowen and Chapman walked to load the bases. Everett hit a single through the left side of the infield, scoring Middlebrooks. Barrett then smashed a single to center field, plating Bowen and Chapman, and Cobb blasted a three-run home run to center field, giving TU an, 8-0, lead.
Iowa State added its third run in the top of the sixth when Jennifer Drahozal scored on a wild pitch. Drahozal pinch-ran for first baseman Dalyn Varela, who drew a walk to lead off the inning.
Tulsa answered once again with a run in the bottom of the inning when Cobb singled through the left side to drive home first baseman Kelly Chapman, who led off the inning with a walk. The Hurricane led, 9-3, after six.
In all, six TU batters got a hit, totaling 11 hits in the game, and the team drew five walks.
In earlier games Friday, North Dakota defeated Ohio State, 7-4, and the Buckeyes bounced back to beat Iowa State, 8-0, in five innings. Drake beat North Dakota, 2-1, in eight innings Friday afternoon.
The Golden Hurricane plays Saturday at 12:15 p.m. against North Dakota. Saturday's action in the tournament begins at 10 a.m. as Iowa State plays North Dakota. The Cyclones then play Drake at 2:30 p.m., followed by Drake and Ohio State at 4:45 p.m. Tournament action continues Saturday at 12:15 p.m. as TU plays Ohio State at the Hardesty Complex.
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.
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