The Tulsa softball team opens the NCAA Norman Regional Friday against Ole Miss at 5:30 p.m. at Marita Hynes Field. The game will be televised on ESPN3.com.
The Golden Hurricane (35-19, 9-9 American) and the Rebels (39-20, 11-13 SEC) play the first game in the four-team double elimination regional tournament on the campus at The University of Oklahoma. OU and Wichita State follow at 8 p.m.
The winners of each Friday game will meet at 1:30 p.m. Saturday while the losing teams will play at 4 p.m. Saturday. Every game of the regional is slated for television on the ESPN family of networks, with networks for Saturday and Sunday games to be determined.
Live stats will be available at www.TulsaHurricane.com, and the full NCAA Championship bracket can be found at http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/softball/d1. The regional central page can be found at http://soonersports.com/fls/31000/microsites/ncaa/16sb_ncaa_regional.html.
“It is always exciting to make it into the NCAA tournament. This is a great venue for us just from our fan standpoint and the excellent facilities, so we enjoy being here,” Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. “Ole Miss is a solid team that can beat any team in the country. They can play with the best, and we know that we have our work cut out for us in terms of making sure that we are coming out with the best that we have to offer. Any time that they go through the schedule that they have in the conference that they have, you know that they are going to be a formidable opponent.”
This will be the seventh meeting between Tulsa and Ole Miss. Tulsa leads the series, 5-1. The Golden Hurricane won the last meeting, 3-0, in 2004 in Oxford. The Rebels won the first meeting, 5-4 in 1997, and Tulsa won 9-1 in the second game of a doubleheader in Tulsa. Tulsa twice in 1998, 5-4 and 3-0, and won 10-0 in 1999, all at neutral sites.
Junior third baseman Maggie Withee leads Tulsa with a .374 batting average and has totaled 45 runs, eight doubles, 22 walks and a .442 on-base percentage. Sophomore shortstop Shelby Estocado hits .335 with a team-high 11 home runs and .600 slugging percentage and has eight doubles, 41 RBI, and 47 runs. Freshman right fielder Julia Hollingsworth hits .344 with 10 doubles and has totaled 29 RBI and 29 runs and posted a .414 on-base percentage. Junior left fielder Maddie Withee leads Tulsa with 45 RBI, and hits .329 with seven doubles and six home runs. Freshman second baseman Morgan Neal hits .312 with nine extra base hits and 28 runs scored.
Senior Caitlin Sill leads Tulsa in the circle with a 1.72 ERA and a 19-10 record. She has allowed 44 earned runs and 163 hits in 178.2 innings. Sophomore Emily Watson is 12-9 with a 2.31 ERA, has 172 strikeouts and has allowed 40 earned runs on 98 hits and a .213 opponent batting average in 121.1 innings.
Tulsa is hitting .293 with 282 runs, 253 RBI, 71 doubles, 29 home runs, nine triples, a .418 slugging percentage and a .370 on-base percentage. The Hurricane pitchers have posted a combined 2.16 ERA with 298 strikeouts in 347.0 innings and allowed a .238 opponent batting average, 317 hits, and 107 earned runs.