Right fielder Julia Hollingsworth hit an RBI double in the sixth inning, but the Tulsa softball team was unable to overcome a five-run deficit in a 5-1 defeat to Ole Miss in the opening game of the NCAA Norman Regional Friday evening at Marita Hynes Field.
Third baseman Maggie Withee went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and a walk, and scored on Hollinsgworth’s double. She had two of Tulsa’s four hits in the game. The Golden Hurricane fell to 35-20 on the season, and will face either Oklahoma or Wichita State at 4 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game.
Ole Miss (40-20) scored four runs in the third inning, and added a run in the fifth. The Rebels totaled seven hits, including a run-scoring single followed by a three-run home run in the third inning.
“I just didn't feel like I saw the same team this week as I did last week,” Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. “You’re not going to win a game when you lose in all three phases of the game, and that is what we did today. I told the team the one good thing you can take away from today is it isn’t last week where it was single elimination. We still have an opportunity to go out and fight and show everybody we can do a lot better than what we did today.”
All three TU pitchers threw in the game, including sophomores Emily Watson and Lexi Blevins, who saw their first NCAA postseason action. Senior starter Caitlin Sill (19-11) went 4.0 innings, and took the loss. Watson entered to begin the fifth, and allowed one unearned run in 1.2 innings. Blevins relieved with two outs in the sixth, throwing one pitch to induce a groundout back to the circle for the final out.
Ole Miss scored in the third inning on an RBI single by third baseman Ashton Lampton and a three-run home run by designated player Sarah Van Schaik. The hits were preceded by a one-out walk to second baseman Grayce Majam and a two-out single by shortstop Hailey Lunderman.
Maggie Withee lined a base hit into centerfield with two outs in the third inning for Tulsa’s first hit of the game. Shortstop Shelby Estocado beat out a grounder to short in the fourth inning. Withee then beat out a grounder off the pitcher’s glove in the sixth, setting up Hollingsworth’s double off the wall in right center.