Sophomore shortstop Shelby Estocado and senior catcher Catherine Horner each had two hits and two RBIs to lead the Hurricane to a 6-4 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night at the Collins Family Softball Complex.
The Golden Hurricane (17-5) had six runs on six RBIs, including two by Estocado, and a big triple by Horner that brought in two runners. The Tulsa seniors showed strong leadership, earning four of the six total RBIs in the sixth inning to secure the Hurricane victory.
“I told the team that it was a game of big plays,” said Head Coach John Bargfeldt. “We gave up a couple big
plays, and we made a couple big plays ourselves. I think that making the big plays is what kept us in the ball game, and it ultimately allowed us to get a point where we could come out with the victory.”
“Obviously if you think of the offense you think Horner and Estocado,” Bargfeldt said. “Estocado came up with a big two run homer, and Horner set that homer up with a shot down the right field line. Horner also came up with a big triple in the right-center gap with runners on first and second. We have been waiting for her to get the barrel on the ball, and for quite a while she has been just a bit inconsistent with it but she really looked good today. Jodi Edminston and Kaitlin Allen also did a great job for us down the stretch. Jodi had a great huge SAC fly to right field that scored a run in the bottom of the sixth, and Kaitlin hit a shot between the short stop and third baseman to drive in another crucial run.”
Shelby Estocado hit her sixth homerun of the season in the second inning to bring home two runs and tie the game at 2-2 after a Minnesota RBI in the first inning and a homerun in the second.
In the third inning, Minnesota singled, got hit by a pitch, and got walked to load the bases, but Sill fielded an out from the mound to strand all three runners on base. The Gophers regained the lead in the fourth inning with an RBI single by Junior Sam Macken that drove home the runner, Sydney Fabian, and bring the score to 3-2. In the fifth, the Gophers increased their lead to 4-2 with a triple followed by an RBI.
The Hurricane did not score again until the sixth inning, when a big triple by senior catcher Catherine Horner drove home two runners to tie the game at 4-4. Senior center fielder Jodi Edmiston brought home what turned out to be the winning run on a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Hurricane the lead. Senior right fielder Kaitlin Allen capitalized on this momentum with a single that brought home Estocado, who was intentionally walked, adding an important security run for the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa finished the inning with a 6-4 lead over the Gophers.
Tulsa had a big defensive inning to finish the game. With runners at second and third, Sara Groenewegen hit a grounder to the third baseman, who threw the ball to the catcher, Catherine Horner, and caught the runner in a run down. Horner tagged the runner for the first out and threw to second to catch Groenewegen trying to advance. This double play was followed by a fly out to right field.
Sill pitched all seven innings for Tulsa and had two strikeouts for her ninth win of the season.
The Hurricane will take on the University of Arkansas tomorrow at 5 p.m. in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Photo Courtesy of Tulsa Softball's Twitter Account