Softball Defeats Ohio State, 8-0, to Win Holiday Inn-Tulsa City Center Festival
March 6, 2011
TULSA, Okla. - Freshman Aimee Creger pitched a one-hit shutout, and Lauren Menke and Skylar Swanson combined for five RBI to lead the Tulsa softball team to an, 8-0, defeat of Ohio State in six innings at the Holiday Inn Tulsa-City Center Festival Sunday afternoon at the Donna J. Hardesty Sports Complex.
The Golden Hurricane improved to 14-6 on the season and plays a midweek game at No. 10 Oklahoma Wednesday. The game will be televised by Cox Cable channel 3 (703 HD) in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
Creger (7-1) had a no-hitter going through 4.1 innings before Ohio State catcher Melissa Rennie poked a single through the left side of the infield min the fifth. Prior to that hit, Creger had retired 10 of the previous 12 batters. She recorded eight strikeouts and just two walks in the complete-game effort.
"The last two weekends, we've gone undefeated through the tournaments, and all four weekends (we have played) we've closed the weekend with a win," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said, of his team winning its home tournament with a 4-0 record. "I think that's a really important habit to get into when you start going into the conference season, you want to finish off those Sundays with a win."
The junior second baseman Swanson went 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs, while the senior right fielder Menke blasted a three-run home run in the third inning for TU. Sophomore designated player Lacey Middlebrooks added two hits with an RBI and a run for Tulsa, which totaled 10 hits in the game.
Seven of the eight Hurricane runs were scored with two out in the inning. The exception was the final run in the bottom of the sixth.
"We've always tried to establish a lineup where we can score it anywhere throughout the lineup," said Bargfeldt. "It's important because it takes pressure off certain parts of the lineup if you're doing that. We had a lot of clutch hitting with two outs today. Aimee pitched a good game. She did a nice job of bouncing back a couple of times when she got in the habit of throwing some balls. It was a good effort by her, definitely."
Ohio State fell to 5-14 on the season, and Buckeye starter Audrey Plant (1-2) took the loss, allowing five runs in 3.0 innings.
Tulsa scored two runs in the first on a walk and back-to-back doubles. Samantha Cobb drew a two-out walk, and Skylar Swanson and Lacey Middlebrooks followed with a pair of doubles giving TU a, 2-0, lead.
Menke smashed a three-run home run to left field with two out in the third inning which gave the Hurricane a, 5-0, lead. The blast scored Swanson, who reached on a walk, and Middlebrooks, who singled through the left side of the infield.
The Golden Hurricane added another run in the fourth inning when Cobb hit into a fielder's choice to score sophomore catcher Cassidy Bowen. Bowen drew a walk to lead off the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior first baseman Kelly Chapman, and went to third on a single by freshman third baseman Jill Barrett.
Tulsa added its final two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Chapman led off with a double to the fence in right center and scored on a single through the left side by freshman Shelby Blanton, who was pinch-hitting for Barrett. After a pop-fly double by Cobb, Swanson doubled to right center, scoring Blanton for the game-ending run.
"The girls played well in all phases, with the pitching and hitting, and for the most part, baserunning, so it was good to see," Bargfeldt said. "Now the challenge is how to keep it going. We just want to keep them loose, keep them relaxed, keep them confident, and that's the way they played all weekend."
After the midweek matchup with OU, Tulsa opens Conference USA play next weekend when it welcomes Marshall to town for a Saturday-Sunday series. The Hurricane and Thundering Herd play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m., followed by a single game Sunday at noon.
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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