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Softball Opens NCAA Regional vs. Oregon State Friday

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May 17, 2012

NORMAN, Okla. - No. 25 Tulsa opens the 2012 NCAA Norman Regional against No. 24 Oregon State at 5 p.m. Friday at the OU Softball Complex.

The Golden Hurricane (41-12, 19-5 C-USA), the third seed in the regional, and the Beavers (34-21, 9-14 Pac-12), the second seed in the regional, are meeting in the NCAA postseason for the first time. No. 4 Oklahoma, seeded fourth nationally, plays Lehigh at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Live stats and live video will be available on www.TulsaHurricane.com. All Golden Hurricane NCAA Tournament information can be found on the TU tournament central page at http://www.tulsahurricane.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/tuls-ncaa-central-2012.html.



The four-team tournament will be played in double elimination format. The winners of Friday's games play at 1 p.m. Saturday, while the loser of each game play at 3:30 p.m. Saturday

Tulsa is making its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and fourth in the last five years. This is the fifth NCAA appearance in program history for the Golden Hurricane.

Tulsa enters the NCAA postseason as champions of Conference USA. TU is hitting .311 (449-for-1443) with 248 RBI, 276 runs, 63 doubles, 13 triples and 33 home runs, and has a .441 slugging percentage and a .388 on-base percentage with 175 walks. The Hurricane has a 2.38 team ERA with 340 strikeouts, 186 walks, 286 hits, 163 runs and 121 earned runs allowed, and has a .221 opponent batting average.

The Golden Hurricane is led in hitting by sophomore third baseman Jill Barrett, who is hitting .430 (77-for-179) with 43 runs, 28 RBI, a .514 slugging percentage and a .480 OBP. Junior center fielder Caitlin Everett is hitting .375 (72-for-192) with 54 runs, 25 RBI, a .458 slugging percentage and a .423 OBP. Junior shortstop Samantha Cobb hits .350 (63-for-180) with 46 RBI, 47 runs, 12 doubles, 11 home runs, a .611 slugging percentage and a .413 on-base percentage. Senior infielder Skylar Swanson has 53 RBI and hits .270 with seven doubles, nine homers and a .497 slugging percentage and a .370 OBP. Junior pitcher/DP Lacey Middlebrooks hits .321 with 14 doubles, five home runs, 38 RBI, 15 runs, 26 walks, a .533 slugging percentage and a .434 OBP.

In the circle, Middlebrooks is 20-5 with a 1.87 ERA in 176.1 innings, and has allowed 134 hits, 64 runs and 47 earned runs, with 139 strikeouts and 90 walks. Sophomore Aimee Creger is 18-5 with a 2.69 ERA in 140.1 innings, and has allowed 89 hits, 63 runs and 54 earned runs, with 175 strikeouts and 77 walks.

Oregon State enters the postseason as an at-large bid from the Pac-12 Conference. The Beavers finished ninth in the Pac-12 with an overall record of 34-21 and a 9-14 mark in conference play. OSU is hitting .275 (393-for-1431) as a team, with 283 runs scored, 251 RBI and 40 home runs, with a .401 slugging percentage and a .375 on-base percentage. The pitching staff has a 3.37 ERA and has allowed 344 hits, 215 runs, 177 earned runs, 186 walks, 268 strikeouts and a .246 opponent batting average. The Beavers feature a .966 fielding percentage with 53 errors in 1,578 total chances.

The Beavers are led in hitting by shortstop Elizabeth Santana, who has a .349 batting average (61-for-175) with 35 runs scored, six doubles, three triples, five home runs, 24 walks, a .503 slugging percentage and a .438 on-base percentage. Center fielder Dani Gilmore leads the team with 46 runs scored, nine home runs, 34 walks, a .445 OBP and a .536 slugging percentage, and hits .313 (52-for-166) with 33 RBI and six doubles.

The Oregon State pitching staff is led by junior Marina Demore, who has a 2.97 ERA and has posted an 8-6 record in 30 appearances and 16 starts, allowing 99 hits, 58 runs, 50 earned runs, 54 walks and 102 strikeouts in 117.2 innings. Junior Tina Andreana has started 29 games in 34 appearances, pitching 111.0 innings and posting a 9-11 record. She has allowed 115 hits, 85 runs, 69 earned runs, 76 walks and 74 strikeouts.

Tulsa and Oregon State have played four times. Oregon State leads the series, 3-1. All four games were played at neutral sites. The Beavers won the last three meetings, including two in 2001 when they were ranked 15th in the country. OSU defeated TU in those games, 6-1 and 5-1. OSU also defeated the Hurricane, 12-0 in 2000. The Golden Hurricane won the first meeting between the two schools, 12-5, in 1996. This will be the first time Tulsa and Oregon State have met in the NCAA postseason, but the Hurricane has played Pac-12 teams twice in NCAA regionals. TU fell to Stanford, 8-0, in 2006, and, 1-0, to Oregon in 2008.

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).