Emily Watson tied a school record with 17 strikeouts to lead visiting Tulsa to a 3-2 win over Big 12 Conference-leading Oklahoma State on Wednesday night at Cowgirl Stadium.
Watson, who improved to 19-3 in the circle, struck out the side four times en route to her 17 punchouts, which also tied her career high that was last season in a win at UTSA. The junior now has two of the four 17 strikeout games in the program's history. It was her 12th game of at least 10 strikeouts this season, including her sixth consecutive outing in double-figures.
The Golden Hurricane (26-11) picked up their 18th victory against the Cowgirls (25-12), including wins in eight of the last nine matchups.
Meanwhile, Maggie Withee paced Tulsa at the plate, where she went 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs. The senior was one of four players with multiple hits as the visitors piled up 10 knocks. Julia Hollingsworth went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Maddie Withee and Tori Stafford finished with two hits apiece.
The Hurricane started quickly with a run in the top of the first. Hollingsworth put down a perfect bunt for a hit to start the game and she moved around to third on Maggie Withee's single through the right side. Hollingsworth then touched home on a passed ball for the 1-0 lead.
Tulsa left a pair in scoring position and Oklahoma State bounced back in the bottom of the inning with its only two hits of the contest. Vanessa Shippy followed Taylor Lynch's one-out single with a two-run homer to right field that gave the home squad a slim 2-1 edge.
However, that lead would not last and the Hurricane would score all the runs that they needed in the top of the second.
Shannon Hughes walked and stole second before Hollingsworth lined a single to left field. Hughes held at third, but the throw home allowed the speedy Hollingsworth to move to scoring position. Maggie Withee then popped an 0-2 pitch to shallow left-center field that was just out of reach of a diving Cowgirls defender. Withee raced to second with a double and both runners scored for the 3-2 advantage that Tulsa would not relinquish.
Watson went to work to make sure the lead would hold up. Following an error with one out in the bottom of the second, the senior retired the next 13 batters that she faced. She had 10 straight outs via the strikeout and had a dozen Ks through five innings.
The string of 13 straight retired came to an end in the bottom of the sixth when Oklahoma State had its best chance to tie the score. With two outs, Shippy walked and then stole second before Watson struck out pinch-hitter Hayleigh Galvan to end the threat.
Watson snuffed out any chance of a Cowgirls rally in the bottom of the seventh when she struck out the side for the fourth time to close out the 3-2 triumph.
Oklahoma State starter Shea Coats took the loss and she fell to 5-5 with six hits and three runs allowed in two innings of work.
Tulsa will return to the diamond for a 6 p.m. matchup at Wichita State (19-13) on Thursday, April 6.