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Tulsa Softball Sweeps Doubleheader From UCF

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa used three home runs in the series opener and a five-run second inning in Game 2 to blow past UCF, 6-2 and 8-1, in Friday's Conference USA doubleheader at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

Tulsa powered its way past UCF in Game 1 using three home runs and the pitching of Lacey Middlebrooks to claim a 6-2 victory.

Samantha Cobb, Middlebrooks and Julie Kernen all homered for the Golden Hurricane. Middlebrooks struck out three batters and allowed two earned runs on two hits in the complete-game win.

UCF scored two runs in the top of the first inning and held the lead until the fourth when the Hurricane exploded for five runs. With two outs, TU loaded the bases with two singles and a walk, before Cobb blasted a grand slam to put the home team ahead, 4-2. Middlebrooks then rocketed a frozen rope over the center field fence to make the score, 5-2.

Kernen launched her third home run of the season in the fifth inning, a solo shot that sailed over the scoreboard in left and landed onto 6th Street.

The Knights plated two runs in the first, on a solo home run by right fielder Mariah Garcia, and an RBI ground out by second baseman Kalyn Cenal that drove home third baseman Farrah Sullivan.

Middlebrooks and the TU defense shut down UCF after the first inning, holding the visitors hitless for the remaining six innings. The Knights put runners on base with eight walks, including three to load the bases in the sixth inning, but Middlebrooks got a strikeout and a double play to end the threat.

In Game 2, Tulsa got on the board with one run in the first inning, five in the second, and two more runs in the sixth inning. Aimee Creger (14-2) struck out 11 batters and allowed one run on six hits to earn the complete-game victory for TU. UCF starter Shelby Turnier (10-7) allowed six runs on nine hits in 2.0 innings, and was saddled with the loss.

Right fielder Haley Henshaw was 4-for-4 with two RBI to lead the Hurricane in the second contest. Center fielder Caitlin Everett, third baseman Jill Barrett, Cobb and Middlebrooks all had two hits in the second game. Cobb drove in two runs and Barrett scored twice.

Tulsa struck first in the opening of Game 2, when Barrett, who reached on a one-out single, scored on an RBI double by Middlebrooks. The double was a hard grounder that bounced off the third base bag and rolled all the way to the fence in left field.

The Golden Hurricane batted around and put up five runs on six hits in the second inning, blowing open its lead to 6-0. Catcher Catherine Horner led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second with a bunt by left fielder Jodi Edmiston. Everett bunted for a single, and Barrett doubled up the middle, scoring Horner. Cobb followed with a line-drive single to third that scored Everett, and Middlebrooks singled through the right side to plate Barrett. Henshaw then laced a double into left center, scoring Cobb and Middlebrooks.

UCF got on the board in the fourth inning when designated player Danielle Brewer singled to the hole at third, scoring pinch runner Lindsay Neyland. Neyland ran for third baseman Farrah Sullivan, who led off the frame with a double to center.

The Hurricane added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 8-1. Middlebrooks reached on a fielder's choice and Henshaw singled through the right side, sending pinch runner Emma Horton to third. First baseman Julie Kernen hit a base knock through the left side to score Horton, and Henshaw came home on a wild pitch to the next batter.

Outside of the fourth inning, UCF managed to push a baserunner into scoring position only three times, and none moved past the second bag.

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