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Softball Falls, 1-0, in American Conference Finals to UCF

Softball Advances to American Conference Finals with 5-2 Win over Houston


Donna J. Hardesty Sports Complex

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May 17, 2014

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WACO, Texas - The Golden Hurricane (51-8) will play an elimination game scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday against the winner of Houston and Northwestern State.

Trailing 2-1 in the seventh, Tulsa threatened after a leadoff double, but left runners at second and third to end the game. The Hurricane scored a run in the second inning, and Baylor took the lead with two runs in the fourth inning.

Senior Aimee Creger (28-2) struck out six and allowed two unearned runs on six hits to take just her second loss of the season. Whitney Canion (28-9) allowed a run on five hits with five strikeouts to earn the win for Baylor (44-13).

"I'm proud of our team," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "It was the first time that we have ever seen Whitney Canion. I thought a number of our hitters got good swings on her. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do when you've never faced a pitcher before. I think the difference in the ballgame was defense. We got our glove on two balls and didn't make the plays. Our team has played good defense all year, and we just came up a little short in that category today."

Tulsa struck first with a run in the top of the second inning when senior center fielder Cierra Hughes drove a one-out triple over the head of the center fielder. The hit scored junior first baseman Julie Kernen, who reached with a single to left field.

Baylor responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Left fielder Linsey Hays reached on an error with two out, and third baseman Sarah Smith lined a single to second base to put runners at first and second. Shortstop Jordan Strickland and designated player Liz Paul then hit back-to-back RBI bloop singles into left center to plate two runs.

The Bears threatened again in the fifth inning when it had runners at second and third with one out. TU, however, got out of the inning when Creger got a punch out and induced a fly out to right.

In the seventh, the Hurricane tried to erase a one-run deficit in its last at bat for the second straight game. Sophomore designated player Jodi Edmiston led off the frame with a double to right center, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Senior shortstop Jill Barrett, who singled to center in her previous at bat, was intentionally walked with two outs following a hard line out to first. Barrett stole second to place runners at second and third, but Canion got a strikeout on a 2-2 pitch to end the game.

"All year we've taken the same approach for every game," Bargfeldt said on what the team needs to do to rebound Saturday evening. "We're just going to get away from the ballpark for a little bit and get something to eat, wipe our minds clean. It's the next game mentality. We just know that whoever we play, we need to play a solid game. When you've been in a regional as many times as these guys have, they know how quickly sometimes you have to reload that intensity and concentration. They've been through it before, so I am confident that we will come out and have our full attention."

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Baylor 2, Tulsa 1 (May 17, 2014 at Waco, Texas)
Tulsa............... 010 000 0 -  1  5  1      (51-8)
Baylor.............. 000 200 X -  2  6  0      (44-13)
Pitchers: Tulsa - Creger, Aimee and Horner, Catherine. Baylor - Canion, Whitney and
Hosack, Clare.
Win-Canion, Whitney(28-9)  Loss-CREGER, Aimee(28-2)  T-2:02  A-773
Weather: 75F S Wind 8-10  MPH