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Barrett's Walkoff Home Run Caps Six-Run Seventh as Tulsa Beats Arkansas 12-9

Sophomore Jill Barrett was 5-for-5 with the game-winning three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to lead the Golden Hurricane to a 12-9 win over Arkansas Wednesday.
Sophomore Jill Barrett was 5-for-5 with the game-winning three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to lead the Golden Hurricane to a 12-9 win over Arkansas Wednesday.
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April 25, 2012

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TULSA, Okla. - Sophomore third baseman Jill Barrett hit a three-run walkoff home run to cap a six-run seventh inning and push Tulsa past Arkansas, 12-9, Wednesday evening at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

Barrett, who was 5-for-5 in the game, tied the school record with five hits, and extended her hitting streak to 25 games. The left hander struck the ball to her opposite field, sending it over the fence in front of the scoreboard in left field for her second homer of the season.

The Golden Hurricane (33-11) found itself in a 5-0 hole as it went to bat in the bottom of the third inning, but scored in each of the next three innings and outscored the Razorbacks (24-22) 12-4 over the final four and a half frames.

The wild game featured 21 runs on 25 hits and four errors between the two teams. Tulsa scored 12 runs on 15 hits with two errors, while Arkansas scored nine runs on 10 hits and committed two errors.

Center fielder Caitlin Everett was 3-for-5 in the game with two RBI and two runs scored and hit her fifth triple of the season. Everett's five triples this season ties the school record set by Kameron White (1994-95) in 1994. It was also the ninth triple of Everett's career, setting a new TU record.

Arkansas scored three runs in the first inning and two runs in the third inning to open up a 5-0 lead. Tulsa came back with two runs in the bottom of the third and three runs in the fourth to tie the score at 5-5. The Razorbacks, however, took the lead again with three runs in the fifth, and TU answered with a run in the bottom of the inning to make the score, 8-6. Arkansas added one more run in the sixth to take a 9-6 lead before the Hurricane's six-run outburst in the seventh.

"It was just a phenomenal comeback in the last inning," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "We were digging out of holes, it seemed like, all night. Every time we would dig out of a hole and they would put a couple more runs on the board. I give a lot of credit to our players for coming back with all of those runs in that last inning."

Designated player Lacey Middlebrooks led off the seventh inning with a solo home run off the scoreboard in left field to make the score 9-7. With work left to do, the Hurricane did not settle in after the home run. First baseman Shelby Blanton was hit by a pitch and scored on a one-out double to right center by catcher Cassidy Bowen. Emma Horton pinch-ran for Bowen, and pinch hitter Julie Kernen drilled a single through the right side to put runners at the corners.

Center fielder Caitlin Everett chopped a grounder down the third base line that was thought to be foul, but ruled a fair ball. The third baseman, who caught the ball on the foul line missed a swipe tag on Horton and misfired on the late throw to first base, allowing Horton to score and cut the deficit to 9-8. Barrett then launched her opposite field three-run homer to left field to give TU the 12-9 win.

Sophomore Aimee Creger (15-5) earned the win after pitching 6.0 innings in relief of starter Kalynn Schrock. Creger struck out eight batters and allowed six runs on six hits and eight walks. Chelsea Cohen (13-14) pitched 4.1 innings, allowing 10 runs on 12 hits, and took the loss for the Razorbacks. Cohen started the game for Arkansas and pitched the first four innings before leaving in the fifth inning for reliever Hope McLemore. Cohen returned to the game in the seventh inning and recorded an out before giving up the game-winning runs.

The five-run comeback was Tulsa's second of the season, as it scored six runs in the final two innings to beat East Carolina, 7-6, on March 18. Wednesday marked the fourth time in school history and second time this season a TU player has tallied five hits in one game - the other was by junior shortstop Samantha Cobb on Feb. 12 against Rutgers.

Arkansas started the game with a single by left fielder Devon Wallace and a home run to center field by shortstop Clarisa Navarro. A two-out single by catcher Jayme Gee and an RBI double to right center by second baseman Sierra Bronkey made the score 3-0.

Creger came on in relief to start the second inning and held the Razorbacks scoreless, but the visiting team added two more runs in the third inning on a pair of solo home runs by third baseman Chloe Oprzedek and Bronkey to take a 5-0 lead.

Tulsa got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 5-2. Left fielder Cierra Hughes led off with a single and Barrett hit an infield single to short. After Cobb was hit by a pitch to load the bases, second baseman Skylar Swanson hit a sacrifice fly to left center, but the dropped ball resulted in an error, allowing Hughes and Barrett to score.

The Golden Hurricane tied it up in the fourth with three runs on four consecutive one-out hits. Bowen singled to right center, Hughes singled to the hole at third base and both scored on Everett's triple. Barrett drilled a base hit through the hole in the left side to plate Everett.

Arkansas, however, took the lead again with three runs in the top of the fifth. Back-to-back singles by Gee and Bronkey started the inning. A high throw to first base on a comebacker to the pitcher by first baseman Megan Pearson allowed Gee to score. Designated player Andrea Sullivan singled to center field, scoring Bronkey, and a throw from the catcher trying to catch Sullivan sleeping at first base got away into right field, allowing pinch runner Ashley Martindale to score and give Arkansas an 8-5 lead.

TU cut the deficit with a run in the bottom of the fifth when designated player Lacey Middlebrooks walked and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Bowen.

The Razorbacks again took a three-run lead in the sixth with an RBI single by Oprzedek that scored Navarro, who was hit by a pitch to begin the stanza. Arkansas led 9-6 at that point, but Tulsa's six runs in the seventh gave the Hurricane the comeback victory.

The Golden Hurricane closes out its home schedule with a three-game Conference USA series against UTEP Saturday and Sunday. The Hurricane and Miners play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. and a single game at 1 p.m. Sunday. TU will honor its seniors in a ceremony after the game on Sunday.

TU will also dedicate the Collins Family Softball Complex in a pregame ceremony on Sunday. More detailed information about the dedication will be released in the coming days.

Tickets to TU home softball games are $5.00 general admission and can be purchased at the gate. Youth softball girls are admitted FREE when wearing their team jersey/uniform.

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. Follow Tulsa softball on Twitter (www.twitter.com/TulsaSoftball) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/utulsasoftball).

Tulsa 12, Arkansas 9 (Apr 25, 2012 at Tulsa, Okla.)
Arkansas............ 302 031 0 -  9 10  2      (24-22)
Tulsa............... 002 310 6 - 12 15  2      (33-11)
Pitchers: Arkansas - Cohen; McLemore(5) and Gee. Tulsa - Schrock, Kalynn; CREGER, Aimee(2) and
Bowen, Cassidy.
Win-CREGER, Aimee(15-5)  Loss-Cohen(13-14)  T-2:25  A-300
HR AR - Navarro (8); Oprzedek (7); Bronkey (2).
HR TLS - Barrett, Jill (2); Middlebrooks, Lacey (3).
Weather: 86 Sunny, Wind SW @ 10 mph
Cohen faced 1 batter in the 5th.
McLemore faced 2 batters in the 7th.