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Tulsa Softball Starts Season 4-1

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PHOENIX, Arizona -

The 21st-ranked softball team dropped its final game of the GCU Kickoff, 2-0 to Northern Colorado Sunday afternoon, completing a 4-1 season-opening weekend. The Golden Hurricane won twice on Saturday, defeating Santa Clara, 6-4, and Grand Canyon, 5-4.

Saturday, the bats of seniors Julie Kernen and Erica Sampson led the Hurricane to a pair of victories. Sampson put the Golden Hurricane ahead early with a three-run home run in the top of the first inning. She finished the game 3-for-4 and scored twice, as TU put up a four-run first and added two runs in the seventh.

In Game 2 against Grand Canyon, Kernen put the Hurricane ahead with a three-run homer in the top of the third. Tulsa fell behind 4-3 after five, but scored two runs in the top of the sixth to win, 5-4.

Sunday against Northern Colorado, Tulsa tallied three hits on singles by junior left fielder Catherine Horner, freshman shortstop Shelby Estocado, and junior second baseman Kaitlin Allen. The Bears scored two runs on solo home runs by third baseman Kaitlin Flynn in the second inning and by center fielder Morgan Yuhas in the fourth inning.

Junior Caitlin Sill (1-1) struck out three batters in a complete-game effort to take the loss for Tulsa. Jayme Reddacliff (2-2) earned the complete-game win for Northern Colorado.

On Saturday, freshman Emily Watson (1-0) earned the win over Santa Clara in her first collegiate appearance. She went the distance, striking out five batters with one walk. Senior Bailey Erwin (2-0) got the win against Grand Canyon, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Sill tossed a perfect seventh inning to earn the save.

TU also beat Santa Clara, 9-6, and Grand Canyon, 7-3, on Friday.

The Golden Hurricane returns to action next weekend, Feb. 13-15, at the FAU Strike Out Cancer Tournament. TU will play five games over the weekend, against Michigan State, FAU, Maryland, Drexel and Providence.

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