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No. 24 Softball Defeats Southern Miss, 3-1, to Complete Sweep


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May 5, 2013

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TULSA, Okla. - The 24th-ranked Tulsa softball team concluded the regular season with a 3-1 victory over Southern Miss, completing the weekend Conference USA series sweep amid chilly and windy conditions Sunday afternoon at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

Aimee Creger (24-5) struck out five and allowed an earned run on five hits to pick up her school-record-tying 24th victory of the season. Jill Barrett went 3-for-4 and scored a run, and Shelby Blanton, Caitlin Everett and Julie Kernen each drove in a run.

The Golden Hurricane improved to 41-13-1 overall and finished 19-5 in C-USA play, matching the 2011 and 2012 teams with the program's best-ever conference record. The group of TU seniors - Everett, Cassidy Bowen, Samantha Cobb and Lacey Middlebrooks - has won 160 games, compiling more victories in four years than any other class in program history.

The Golden Hurricane brought the regular season to a close with a nine-game win streak, and will carry that streak into the 2013 Conference USA Championship, which will be played May 9-11 at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

"It seemed like we got a lot of hits, but we kept coming up short, as far as trying to break out that big inning," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "It kept things a lot closer than yesterday. You have to give their pitcher credit on that. The most important thing is we got a win, and we never felt too threatened. Aimee did a nice job pitching from that standpoint. We just got some key hits, and had a lot of good at-bats out there today. Our defense was solid. More balls were put in play, and our team played another solid game defensively. That's been huge in coming up with the type of streak that we're on right now."

Tulsa began the scoring with a run in the bottom of the second when Cierra Hughes reached on a fielder's choice and moved around to score from second on a base hit up the middle by Everett.

The score remained 1-0 until the fifth when the Golden Hurricane broke through with a pair of runs to extend its lead to 3-0. Barrett led off with a single and Cobb was hit by a pitch. Kernen then doubled off the glove of the third baseman down the left field line to score Barrett. Middlebrooks drew a one-out walk to load the bases, and after a fielder's choice, Blanton sent a single through the right side to plate Kernen.

Southern Miss put a run on the board in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 3-1. Morgan McKeever and Mackenzie Sher hit consecutive singles, and McKeever scored on a ground out to short by Danielle LaPointe. The run was the first allowed by Creger in 22 innings, after she tossed three straight shutouts.

Brackets and game times for the C-USA Championship will be announced Sunday evening.

Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaHurricane and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaHurricane. Follow Tulsa Softball on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaSoftball and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaWSoftball.

Tulsa 3, Southern Miss 1 (May 05, 2013 at Tulsa, Okla.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Southern Miss....... 000 001 0 -  1  5  0      (14-40, 4-18)
Tulsa............... 010 020 X -  3  9  0      (41-13-1, 19-5)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pitchers: Southern Miss - Wagner, Kimberly and Sher, Mackenzie. Tulsa - Creger, Aimee and
Bowen, Cassidy.
Win-CREGER, Aimee(24-5)  Loss-Wagner, Kimberly(6-9)  T-1:34  A-150
Weather: 51 Cloudy, Wind N @ 14 mph