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Tulsa Softball Completes Sweep Of Charlotte

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Senior Haley Henshaw drove in five runs and junior Julie Kernen and freshman Jill Roye each homered to lead No. 17 Tulsa to a 10-1 (5 inn.) Conference USA win over Charlotte Sunday afternoon at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

The Golden Hurricane (28-3, 6-0 C-USA) completed the weekend sweep of the 49ers (10-15, 2-7 C-USA) after winning 7-0 and 9-0 on Saturday.

Henshaw was 2-for-2 with a two-run single in the second and a three-run double in the third inning. Roye hit a solo homer in the third inning, and Kernen knocked a three-run shot in the fifth that ended the game. TU scored two runs in the second, four in the third and four more runs in the fifth inning.

Junior Bailey Erwin moved to 9-0 with a complete-game effort in the circle. She struck out three and walked two batters. Lexi Betancourt (9-7) took the loss for Charlotte, allowing six runs in 4.0 innings. Tulsa totaled 10 runs on 11 hits, while the 49ers had one run on seven hits and two errors.

"This game was a lot like the first two from yesterday," Tulsa coach John Bargfeldt said. "We came out and played solid defense. It was big to get out of that jam in the first inning by Bailey. She probably wasn't quite as sharp as she has been, but to fight through that inning and get out of that jam without letting anybody score, it gave us a chance to score first. From there, the hitting kind of took off and put us in a comfortable position."

Charlotte loaded the bases in the top of the first inning with a pair of singles by shortstop Natalie Capone and second baseman Samantha Slade. Following a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout, third baseman Chelsea Likiatos drew a walk to load the bases, but a strikeout by Erwin ended the inning.

Erwin allowed only one hit the next two innings while the Hurricane built a 6-0 lead.

Tulsa scored twice in the bottom of the second on a two-out base hit by Henshaw that scored senior center fielder Cierra Hughes and freshman third baseman Maggie Withee, who reached on walks.

With one out in the third frame, Roye launched a home run to left center field – her third of the season. Following a fly out, Hughes, sophomore catcher Catherine Horner and Withee hit consecutive singles to the left side of the field to load the bases. Henshaw then flew a bases-clearing double off the fence in left center to make the score 6-0.

The 49ers scored in the top of the fifth when Lisikatos hit a two-out single through the left side, scoring Capone, who led off the inning with a base hit.

The Hurricane added four more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Henshaw drew a leadoff walk, but was erased when senior shortstop Jill Barrett hit into a fielder's choice. Barrett moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double to center by second baseman Shelby Blanton. Junior left fielder Erica Sampson then singled through the left side before Kernen, who entered the game at first base in the top of the inning, hit her third homer of the season. The three-run shot gave TU a 10-1 lead and ended the game by run rule.

"That's what we were looking to do once we got the first two on Saturday. You want to get a little greedy there, and try to complete the sweep," Bargfeldt said of winning all three games on the weekend. "Haley Henshaw just had a great day at the plate ¬- she was really significant in giving us a big lead there. Then, we got a couple of big home runs on a day when you think the ball is probably not going to fly out of here. But it did, with Jill Roye and Julie Kernen – they met the ball really well. The girls are getting a lot of really confident swings up there. They did so all weekend, and it continued today."

The Golden Hurricane plays at Missouri State at 5 p.m. Wednesday. TU returns home next weekend, March 29-30, for a three-game set vs. UTEP.

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