Softball Defeats #12 Oklahoma, 5-4, in 9 Innings
March 23, 2010
TULSA, Okla. - Christian Timmons' bases-loaded single scored Samantha Cobb in the bottom of the ninth to give The University of Tulsa softball team a 5-4 win over 12th-ranked Oklahoma Tuesday evening at the Donna J. Hardesty Sports Complex.
Timmons hit a flare to shallow right field that fell just out of reach of the diving right fielder to score Cobb.
The Golden Hurricane (16-12) scored five runs on 15 hits and Kalynn Schrock (6-3) pitched 3.1 shutout innings in relief to earn the win. Center fielder Caitlin Everett, first baseman Vanessa Vice each had three hits, and Vice drove in two runs for TU. Oklahoma's (25-7) Keilani Ricketts (15-6) absorbed the loss, throwing 5.0 innings of relief and allowing six hits and two runs.
A game which started as a high-scoring affair turned into a pitchers' duel, as both teams' hurlers settled into the game. Tulsa scored five runs on five RBI singles, while OU used two home runs, including a three-run shot to score its runs.
Junior Jordan Kinard started the game for Tulsa, and gave up four hits and four earned runs, but shut down the OU bats after the first inning. She only allowed one hit after the first inning.
"It was a huge win. We hadn't played in a while, so we talked about grabbing that momentum back that we had a little over a week ago," Tulsa head coach John Bargfeldt said. "We had a couple of losses sneak up there. The girls did a great job of battling back from a deficit. We gave ourselves plenty of opportunities. You just keep giving yourself opportunities and hopefully your pitchers do a good enough job to keep you there, so you can come through one time. That's kind of what happened. Going into the conference series this weekend - Memphis is playing really well - so we wanted to grab some momentum going into that, and gain a little confidence back."
Oklahoma jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-out three-run home run by Jessica Shults, that followed a single and a double.
Tulsa answered right away with two runs in the bottom of the inning on consecutive RBI singles by third baseman Cassidy Bowen and Vice. Everett led off with a single and Lindsay hit into a fielder's choice. Cobb singled, and Bowen and Vice followed with run-scoring base hits.
Both pitchers seemed to settle in after the first inning, retiring both sides in order in the second.
The Hurricane tied the score in the third on an RBI single by Vice, scoring Lindsay, who led off the inning with a single. Cobb followed with a single and Bowen reached on an error to load the bases, leading to Vice's RBI base hit. The Hurricane then hit into two straight fielder's choices that put out the runner at home plate. TU left the bases loaded in the inning.
The bats were mostly quiet for the next two innings, as pitching took over again. Tulsa did get two hits in the fourth, but again stranded three runners on base. Oklahoma had only two base runners in the second through fifth innings, both on walks.
The Sooners took a one-run lead in the top of the sixth on a home run by Lindsey Vandever. The hit was the first Kinard surrendered since Shults' home run in the first inning.
TU again responded in the bottom of the inning with its fourth RBI base hit of the game. Everett hit an infield single back to the pitcher, and advanced all the way to third base on a wild pitch. She then scored on Linday's single to deep short.
The score held for two more innings, as both teams had opportunities, but succumbed to strong pitching, forcing the game into extra innings.
Tulsa managed a base hit in the seventh, but a fielder's choice, strikeout and a fly out ended the inning. TU went down in order in the eighth.
Schrock threw one pitch to end the sixth when she relieved Kinard, and retired the Sooners in order in the seventh. Oklahoma had runners at first and third with one out, and then the bases loaded with two out in the eighth, but Schrock got a huge strike out with a full count to end the threat. OU led off the ninth with a single, but Schrock retired the next three batters to end the inning.
Cobb led off the bottom of the ninth with a pop-up double down the right field line. Bowen followed with a double to left center, but Cobb was only able to advance to third base. Vice was intentionally walked, loading the bases with nobody out. Timmons then singled home the winning run.
This win was the second time in three games against the Sooners that Tulsa has won on a walk-off hit. The Golden Hurricane beat Oklahoma, 5-3, in the NCAA Regional last season on a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. TU has won five of the last seven meetings in Tulsa.
The Golden Hurricane returns to the field this weekend as it plays host to Memphis in a three-game Conference USA series, beginning with a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. the series concludes with a single game Sunday at noon.
Tickets for all Tulsa softball home games are $6 for adults and $4 for youth. Tickets can be purchased at the TU Athletics Ticket Office, by calling 631-GoTU (4688), or at the gate.
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