TU Advances To AAC Championship Game With Win Over UCF


Friday, May 13th 2016, 9:40 pm
By: News On 6


Senior Caitlin Sill pitched a three-hit shutout and Jocelyn Sheffield hit a mammoth two-run home run to lead the Tulsa softball team past No. 25 UCF, 4-0, in semifinal action of the American Athletic Conference Championship Friday afternoon at the Collins Family Softball Complex.

The Golden Hurricane (34-19) will face the top overall seed USF in the Championship game Saturday at 11 a.m. CT (ESPN). The Bulls defeated Houston 4-1 in the first semifinal game on Friday.

Tulsa will play in its second consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship final, and its seventh conference tournament final overall.

With the loss, UCF fell to 36-20 on the season.

After three scoreless innings, the Golden Hurricane got on the board in the top of the fourth inning as senior designated player Jocelyn Sheffield took a 2-1 pitch well over the fence in left center and out onto 6th Street. The homer brought in Shelby Estocado, who started the inning with a single to left.

“That’s why we put her (Jocelyn) in the lineup,” Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. “I thought that if someone is going to get a hold of one I want it to be a big one, not a single. With the wind blowing out, I just thought I’d give Jocelyn three shots, and plus she had a good game on senior day. Getting on top was huge.”

After allowing the first batter a single in the bottom of the fourth, Sill (18-10) sat down the next three UCF batters to take a 2-0 lead into the top of the fifth inning.

Senior center fielder Jodi Edmiston started the top of the fifth with a double to center field, and scored on a Morgan Neal single to give the Hurricane a 3-0 lead. Neal then advanced to third on the throw, and scored when Estocado hit a sacrifice fly to center field making the score 4-0.

“It allows your pitcher to go out and aggressively throw for strikes,” Bargfeldt said of the two additional runs in the fifth inning. “Now, one swing isn’t going to hurt you. That happened with Emily yesterday getting that second run in the sixth, then again today. The ballpark was really playing small today with the wind blowing out, so you had to miss the barrel because anything on the barrel was going to go out.”

Sill sat down 12 of the final 14 batters she faced over the last four innings, allowing just a single in the fourth and sixth innings.

UCF starter Shelby Turnier (20-16) went 5.0 innings and took the loss for the Knights.

Freshman second baseman Morgan Neal finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate, while freshman right fielder Julia Hollingsworth went 2-for-3, as the Hurricane totaled nine hits in the ballgame.

Follow Tulsa Softball on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaSoftball and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaWSoftball. Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaHurricane and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaHurricane.

Tulsa 4, UCF 0 (May 13, 2016 at Tulsa, Okla.)

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Tulsa............... 000 220 0 -  4  9  1      (34-19)

UCF................. 000 000 0 -  0  3  0      (36-20)

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Pitchers: Tulsa - SILL, Caitlin and HORNER, Catherine. UCF - TURNIER, Shelby; UJVARI, Jamie(6)

and McCLOSKEY, Samantha.

Win-SILL, Caitlin(18-10)  Loss-TURNIER, Shelby(20-16)  T-2:02  A-432

HR TLS - SHEFFIELD, Jocelyn (5).

Weather: 83 Fair, Wind SSW @ 19 mph

SEMIFINAL #1 RECAP:

No. 1 USF 4, No. 4 Houston 1

Top overall seed USF used a pair of home runs to pull away from No. 4 seed Houston in the first semifinals match of the day Friday afternoon at the Collins Family Softball Complex. The Bulls topped the Cougars, 4-1, and advanced to the American Softball Championship game with the win.

The Bulls (44-13) got on the scoreboard first in the second inning. Cassidy Boyle scored on a Houston error and Astin Donovan’s right side single plated Coyle later in the inning to give USF a 2-0 advantage. The Bulls increased its lead to 4-0 in the fifth when Lee Ann Spivey and Lauren Evans each hit solo home runs.

The Cougars (27-29) added a run of their own in the top of the sixth when Brooke Vannoy crossed the plate on a USF error.

Julana Shrum pitched a complete game for the Cougars and fell to 8-10 with the loss. Erica Nunn (USF) picked up her 27th victory of the season in the circle with the win. Seven different players had a hit for the Bulls while Vannoy, Elise LeBeouf and Megan Noel paced Houston with one hit apiece.

USF 4, Houston 1 (May 13, 2016 at Tulsa, Okla.)

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Houston............. 000 001 0 -  1  3  2      (27-29)

USF................. 020 020 X -  4  7  1      (44-13)

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Pitchers: Houston - SHRUM, Julana and NOEL, Megan. USF - NUNN, Erica and SPIVEY, Lee Ann.

Win-NUNN, Erica(27-9)  Loss-SHRUM, Julana(8-10)  T-1:52  A-0

HR USF - SPIVEY, Lee Ann (15); EVANS, Lauren (3).

Weather: 81 Fair, Wind S @ 15 mph

TOURNAMENT SHCEDULE

Championship - Saturday, May 14

(Televised live on ESPN)

Game 6 – Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, Noon ET/11 a.m. CT

QUARTERFINAL RESULTS
Thursday, May 12
Game 1 – No. 4 Houston 5, No. 5 Memphis 4 (10)
Game 2 – No. 2 UCF 3, No. 7 UConn 2
Game 3 – No. 3 Tulsa 2, No. 6 East Carolina 0

SEMIFINAL RESULTS

Friday, May 13

Game 4 – No. 1 USF 4, No. 4 Houston 1

Game 5 – No. 3 Tulsa 4, No. 2 UCF 0