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No. 17 Softball Splits Doubleheader with UAB Saturday

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April 13, 2013

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TULSA, Okla. - Samantha Cobb drove in two runs in Tulsa's 4-1 Game 1 win, and Cassidy Bowen, Haley Henshaw and Julie Kernen all homered in Game 2 ¬- a 9-7 UAB win - as the Golden Hurricane and Blazers split their Conference USA doubleheader Saturday at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

Aimee Creger (17-3) struck out 10 batters, allowing just four hits, two walks and an unearned run in the complete-game victory in the opener. Cobb was 2-for-3 with an RBI single and a run-scoring double to lead the Golden Hurricane (32-10-1, 12-2 C-USA). TU scored two runs in the third, and one run in each of the fifth and sixth innings. UAB scored its run in the sixth frame, and Leigh Streetman (9-5) took the complete-game loss for the Blazers.

Game 2 featured five combined home runs and five multiple-run innings, as the Blazers (25-10, 12-2 C-USA) picked up a 9-7 win to even the series. Kernen hit a three-run homer, and Bowen and Henshaw each knocked two-run round-trippers for the Hurricane. Amy Dennis and Heather Pearson each hit solo homers for UAB. Tulsa scored two runs in the second, two in the fourth and three runs in the fifth inning, while the Blazers scored a run in the first, three runs in the third, four in the sixth and one run in the seventh inning.

Lauren Webster (9-3) earned the win in relief for UAB, while Caitlin Sill (2-4) absorbed the loss in relief for TU.

Tulsa and UAB remain tied at the top of the C-USA standings after Saturday. The series rubber match will take place at noon Sunday at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

"In the first game, we had a very good pitching performance and some clutch scoring," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "Sammy Cobb, in particular, came up clutch with big hits to get us on the board and put us ahead, and to extend us in the lead. Our defense was really pretty solid, but more importantly, I thought Aimee got a lot of easy outs. She got a lot of pop ups and strikeouts, and when you get that type of a pitching performance, which we've been accustomed to this year, I like our chances of getting a win."

Tulsa struck first in Game 1 with a pair of runs in the third inning on an RBI single by Cobb and a double steal that scored Caitlin Everett. Cierra Hughes led off the inning with a base hit up the middle and Everett followed with a bunt single. Two batters later, Cobb laced a single up the middle, scoring Hughes. On the next batter, Cobb stole second and Everett came home, giving TU a 2-0 lead.

The Golden Hurricane extended its lead to 3-0 in the fifth inning when Cobb lined a double to right center, scoring Hughes, who led off the inning with a two-base hit to the fence in left field.

UAB picked up a run in the top of the sixth on an unusual play. Caitlin Attfield reached on an error at short and Pearson followed with a single through the left side. Whitney Fletcher then singled up the middle off the glove of the second baseman, Attfield fell moving to third, and Pearson caught up with her at third base. The throw went from Everett in centerfield to third, where Barrett tagged both runners, and Pearson was called out because two baserunners occupied third base. Attfield was then awarded home, because it was ruled she was obstructed in running from second to third base by the shortstop. That made the score, 3-1, Tulsa.

The Hurricane got an insurance run in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-1 lead when Jodi Edmiston, who entered the game in left field to start the sixth, singled home Julie Kernen. Kernen was hit by a pitch, and moved to second on a fielder's choice, before scoring from second on Edmiston's base hit up the middle.

UAB scored first in Game 2, as Pearson hit a one-out solo home run to left field in the top of the first inning. Tulsa took the lead in the second inning when Henshaw launched a two-run shot to center - her third homer of the season.

The Blazers scored three more runs in the third inning on a two-run double by Kate Armstrong, and an error. Kristen McGrath walked and Anna Kimbrell was hit by a pitch, loading the bases after the double. Megan McGrath reached on a fielder's choice when her ground ball to the pitcher resulted in a force out of Armstrong at home, but the throw from catcher to first was wide, allowing pinch runner Hailey Glynn to score from third.

The Golden Hurricane knotted the score at four apiece in the bottom of the fourth, on a two-run opposite field home run by Bowen that also scored Kernen. It was Bowen's third homer of the season.

Tulsa took the lead, 7-4, in the fifth inning when Kernen blasted her fifth home run of the year, a three-run shot to left center with two outs. The homer also scored Cobb and Lacey Middlebrooks, who both drew one-out walks. UAB replaced starter Lannah Campbell following the walks, and inserted Webster, who sandwiched two strikeouts around the home run.

UAB took the lead again with four runs in the top of the sixth. Dennis hit a one-out solo home run to left to make the score 7-5. Pearson hit a two-out single to center, and was followed by three straight doubles from Fletcher, Armstrong and Kristen McGrath, making the score 8-7. The Blazers added their ninth run in the seventh inning when Chandler Orr reached on a bunt single, stole second, and scored on a double by Attfield.

Sill pitched 3.1 innings in relief, from the last two outs of the fourth inning through the first two outs of the seventh inning. She retired the first six batters she faced.

Middlebrooks started the game for Tulsa, tossing the first 3.1 innings and allowing the first four runs on five hits. She reentered with two out in the seventh inning, allowing a walk before getting a pop up to third to end the inning, and totaled 3.2 innings for the game.

"In the second game, I was really proud of the way we fought back," said Bargfeldt. "It was a different game, in that our pitching wasn't on par with what it usually is, so we needed to pick up in another phase. The defense kind of let us down and gave them some extra runs, but we had those three big home runs. It's nice to see the team come back. The possibility of winning the series is still up for grabs, and that's what we want. That's what we're hoping for."

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Tulsa 4, UAB 1 (Apr 13, 2013 at Tulsa, Okla.) (Game 1)
UAB................. 000 001 0 -  1  4  2      (24-10, 11-2)
Tulsa............... 002 011 X -  4  9  2      (32-9-1, 12-1)
Pitchers: UAB - STREETMAN, Leigh and KIMBRELL, Anna. Tulsa - Creger, Aimee and Bowen, Cassidy.
Win-CREGER, Aimee(17-3)  Loss-STREETMAN, Leigh(9-5)  T-2:05  A-0
Weather: 67 Ptly Cloudy, Wind S @ 18mph

UAB 9, Tulsa 7 (Apr 13, 2013 at Tulsa, Okla.) (Game 2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- UAB................. 103 004 1 - 9 12 0 (25-10, 12-2) Tulsa............... 020 230 0 - 7 7 1 (32-10-1, 12-2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: UAB - CAMPBELL, Lannah; WEBSTER, Lauren(5) and KIMBRELL, Anna. Tulsa - Middlebrooks, Lacey; SILL, Caitlin(4) and Bowen, Cassidy. Win-WEBSTER, Lauren(9-3) Loss-SILL, Caitlin(2-4) T-2:36 A-320 HR UAB - PEARSON, Heather (2); DENNIS, Amy (2). HR TLS - Henshaw, Haley (3); Kernen, Julie (5); Bowen, Cassidy (3). Weather: 70 Fair, Wind SSE @ 18 mph