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TU Softball Cruises Past Western Illinois

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Erica Sampson, Aimee Creger and Jodi Edmiston each homered, and Bailey Erwin tossed a complete-game shutout to lead No. 20 Tulsa to an 8-0 (5 inn.) victory over Western Illinois Monday evening at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

Erwin struck out four and scattered seven hits with no walks to improve to 6-0 on the season. The Golden Hurricane (19-3) totaled 10 hits, and scored five runs in the third and two runs in the fourth inning. All of the TU home runs were two-run blasts. Sampson and Creger each launched homers in the third inning, and Edmiston put hers over the fence in the fourth.

"Obviously the bats were a big key. I thought our hitters had a good, solid base about them. I think they wanted to make up a little bit for yesterday, because we didn't square up many balls. They did a great job of making some adjustments and coming out and squaring up several balls today," Tulsa head coach John Bargfeldt said. "I thought Bailey did a good job of digging herself out of trouble. She buckled down and got out of situations. She usually pitches to contact, and she did a great job of making that contact where they couldn't advance the runners."

Western Illinois put a runner in scoring position in the first, second, third and fifth innings, including runners at second and third with no outs in the top of the fifth. Each time WIU reached second or third base, however, Erwin missed a bat, or got a groundout or pop up the end the threat.

Tulsa scored in the first inning when senior second baseman Shelby Blanton walked and moved around to score on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.

Blanton led off the third inning with a base hit to right, and Sampson, who went 2-for-3 in the game, hit her team-leading fifth home run of the season to extend the lead to 3-0. After a single and two fielder's choice groundouts, Creger launched her first homer of the year for a 5-0 lead. Freshman third baseman Maggie Withee followed with a triple to right, and scored on a double to left center by senior right fielder Haley Henshaw.

Freshman first baseman Jill Roye, who went 2-for-2, hit a two-out single to right field in the bottom of the fourth. Edmiston then slammed her second home run of the season off the scoreboard in left to make the score 8-0.

Hailey Bickford (2-3) allowed five runs on five hits in 2.2 innings, and took the loss for the Leathernecks (11-6).

Shortstop Sammy Marshall, who was 3-for-3 at the plate, led off the first inning with a single, and the third inning with a double. In the first after Marshall stole second, Erwin sandwiched a strikeout, pop up and groundout around a single to end the inning.

First baseman Holly Hoelting started the second frame with a base hit, but a sacrifice bunt, pop up to short, and a groundout to third ended the inning. Erwin responded to Marshall's double in the third by inducing two groundouts and a strikeout looking.

After back-to-back singles by right fielder Karissa Kouchis and Marshall in the top of the fifth, TU got a groundout to third, fly out to left and foul out to third to end the game. Withee reached over the railing beyond the dugout down the left field line to make the catch for the final out.

The same two teams will be back at it again on Tuesday, as the Golden Hurricane and Leathernecks play at 3 p.m. at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

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