BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - The University of Tulsa softball team made a statement in the opening round of the Conference USA tournament Thursday with a 6-0 shutout of Southern Miss.

TU's Skylar Swanson paced the Golden Hurricane going 3-for-3 on the day with four RBI including a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. Her four runs batted in ties a Tulsa single-season record. She now has 53 RBI on the season.

In addition, Hurricane freshman Julie Kernen launched her first career home run to left to seal the win in the sixth for Tulsa.

Tulsa was strong from the start sitting down Southern Miss in order in two of the first three innings while also getting their own bats going. In the bottom of the first with two on and one out, Swanson got started with a single to center that scored one run.

In the second, Caitlin Everett connected on a single to left that scored Jessica Stoelke for a 2-0 advantage.

After two straight innings without a run from either team, Samantha Cobb started the fifth frame with a single to left and then came around to score off Swanson's two-run home run for a 4-0 Tulsa lead.

Kernen lead off the sixth with an insurance run by sending a long ball to left for her first homer of the season. Later that inning, Swanson flied out but scored Barrett for the 6-0 score that wouldn't be touched by Southern Miss.

Tulsa totaled 13 hits on the day to Southern Miss' five. The Golden Eagles were led by Brittany Lilly who went two-for-three on the game.

Aimee Creger went the distance for Tulsa with eight strikeouts and only five hits allowed in seven innings of service from inside the circle.

The Golden Hurricane advances to play the winner of the Houston vs. UCF fame in the semifinals on Friday at 2 p.m.