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Tulsa Claims C-USA Tournament Title

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Tulsa gave up a lead, but got it right back and managed to knock off the Thundering Herd in the title game. Tulsa gave up a lead, but got it right back and managed to knock off the Thundering Herd in the title game.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -

A week after clinching a regular season title, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane knocked off the Marshall Thundering Herd 3-2 Saturday to claim the Conference USA tournament title, ensuring a berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Marshall went scoreless in the first four innings of the game, while the Golden Hurricane built a 2-0 lead, thanks to a pair of RBI singles from Jill Barrett in the second and Caitlin Everett in the fourth. However, Lacey Middlebrooks struggled in the top of the fifth, letting Marshall back into the game.

A pair of walks and a single in the first at-bats of the inning, and Ashley Gue singled in the next at-bat to bring Samantha Spurlock home to cut into the lead. In the next at-bat Rebecca Gamby grounded out in the following at-bat, allowing Melissa Loesing to score and tie the game.

But the Golden Hurricane capitalized on a few Marshall Miscues in the bottom of the fifth.

In the second at-bat of the inning, Middlebrooks doubled and was pulled in favor of a pinch runner. Shelby Blanton walked in the next at-bat, and both advanced thanks to a ground out from Jessica Stoelke. Marshall chose to intentionally walk Cassidy Bowen to load the bases, then gave up a nine-pitch walk in the next at-bat to score the go-ahead run.

Middlebrooks (20-5) received a win for her complete-game performance Saturday, giving up two earned runs on seven hits in seven innings of service. Andi Williamson (25-13) picked up a loss for the outing, giving up three earned runs on eight hits and walking five batters in six innings of service.

Tulsa will now await its first round matchup in the NCAA Tournament, which will tip off Friday May 18.

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