Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

February 24, 2013

SOFTBALL: Tulsa advances to Texas Invitational Championship

AUSTIN — The No. 24 Tulsa softball team took care of business Saturday defeating Lamar 11-3 before dispatching Utah State in bracket play 3-0 to advance to the championship game of the Texas Invitational at Red & Charline McCombs Field.

 

The Golden Hurricane (11-3) will face No. 6 Texas in a 10 a.m. tilt on Sunday, which will air live on Longhorn Network (Cox Cable Ch. 274).



In TU’s first game of the day, the Hurricane roared past Lamar 11-3 in a five-inning affair.

 

Junior Aimee Creger (6-0) pitched four innings allowing four hits, three runs while striking out five. Freshman Caitlin Sill came on in relief and threw an inning allow one hit while striking out a batter.

 

Senior shortstop Samantha Cobb hit her second home run of the weekend with a two-run shot in the first inning, while junior third baseman Jill Barrett drove in three runs. Sophomore First baseman Julie Kernen was 2-of-3 with two doubles and two runs scored, and junior second baseman Shelby Blanton and senior centerfielder Caitlin Everett each had two runs on the afternoon.

 

In Tulsa’s second contest of the day, the right-arm of junior Lacey Middlebrooks pitched a two-hit shutout as the Hurricane took down Utah State 3-0 in bracket play to advance to the tournament finals.

 

Middlebrooks (5-1) tossed five innings of no-hit ball, and struck out 10 of the 24 batters she faced, walking none to earn her fifth win of the season.

 

Barrett was 2-of-4 with an RBI, while leftfielder Cierra Hughes was 2-of-2. Everrett scored two of TU’s three runs, while Cobb tallied an RBI and a run scored.

 

In the Lamar game, Tulsa scored four runs in the first inning, four runs in the third, and three more in the fourth.

 

Lamar got on the board first with a run in the top of the first when second baseman Casey Cromwell walked and scored on a double by center fielder Candyce Carter.

 

Everett singled to lead off the bottom of the first inning, stole both second and third base, and scored when Barrett reached on an error. Cobb then hit her homer to left field. Kernen hit a two-out double down the left field line, and scored on a base hit up the middle by senior catcher Cassidy Bowen to make the score 4-0.

 

The Cardinals added two more runs in the second inning on a two-run double by third baseman Lauren Gambone.

 

The Hurricane responded in the bottom of the third with four runs. Junior right fielder Haley Henshaw led off with a single, and scored on Kernen’s second RBI double of the game. Blanton was hit by a pitch, and Everett reached on an error to load the bases with two out. Barrett then cleared the bases with a double to left center, making the score 8-3.

 

TU added three more runs in the fourth inning to take an eight-run lead. Bowen drew a one-out walk and Blanton reached on a fielding error. Left fielder Jodi Edmiston singled up the middle to score Bowen, Blanton scored on an illegal pitch, and Everett plated Edmiston on an RBI ground out.

 

Creger allowed just two hits and no runners past second base over the final three innings.

 

In the bracket semifinal against Utah State, Middlebrooks was masterful. She did not allow the Aggies a hit until the sixth inning, struck out a season-high 10 batters, and did not give up a walk.

 

Tulsa scored two runs in the first inning on an RBI single by Cobb and an RBI walk by Blanton. Cobb’s single scored Everett, who reached on an error and stole second. Cobb later scored on a bases-loaded walk by Blanton.

 

The Hurricane had runners in scoring position in the second and third innings, but added its third run in the sixth when Barrett doubled to plate Everett, who reached on a fielder’s choice.

 

Both of the Aggies’ two hits came on back-to-back at-bats with one out in the sixth, and Utah State loaded the bases on a catcher’s interference call. Middlebrooks, however, coaxed a fielder’s choice and a line out to end the inning, and put them down in order in the seventh to seal the win.

 

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