Senior Julie Kernen drove in two runs to set the Tulsa single season RBI record, and the Golden Hurricane totaled 24 hits and allowed just one earned run in a 5-2 and 8-0 (5 inn.) doubleheader sweep at American Athletic Conference foe UConn Saturday afternoon at Burrill Family Field.
Kernen drove in two runs in the opener, giving her 58 RBI for the season, a new program record. She entered the game tied with Skylar Swanson (2009-12), who had 56 RBI in 2012, for the most in a season. With the two wins, the Hurricane improved to 33-17 overall and 11-6 in American Conference play, while the Huskies fell to 18-33 overall and 4-12 in American play.
Senior Bailey Erwin (17-3) started Game 1 and allowed one earned run on five hits with five strikeouts and no walks to pick up the victory. Junior Caitlin Sill tossed 1.2 shutout innings in relief to earn her sixth save of the season. Sill (9-10) pitched a complete-game in the second contest, allowing five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. She threw 6.2 shutout innings in the doubleheader Saturday. The save was also the ninth of Sill's career. She tied the single season and career marks, matching Maren Genow (2003-06) for both marks. Genow recorded six saves in 2004.
Junior Catherine Horner went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored, and senior Erica Sampsonwas 2-for-4 and scored three runs in the series opener. In Game 2, sophomore Maddie Witheewent 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored, and freshman Shelby Estocado tallied two RBI. Horner, Kernen and sophomore Brittany Walker each scored two runs.
"We had solid hitting and pitching, and played solid defense for the most part," Tulsa Head CoachJohn Bargfeldt said. "It was good to see Julie get that (record). She's been a very productive hitter for us all year. Any time you have more RBI than games played, you're doing pretty well. Sill pitched well in both games, both in her relief save and also in her five-inning shutout."
UConn got on the board first in Game 1 with an unearned run when left fielder Alyson Ambler reached on an error and scored on a base hit by catcher Jacklyn Dubois. The Hurricane tied the score in the top of the third when Sampson reached on a fielder's choice and scored on Horner's triple through the right side of the infield.
The Huskies took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth on a solo home run by Ambler. Tulsa responded in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs to go ahead, 3-2. Edmiston led off with a single down the left field line, and Sampson singled through the right side. Horner's base hit to right field plated Edmiston, and Sampson scored on Kernen's sacrifice fly - her 57th RBI of the season.
The Golden Hurricane added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 5-2. Sampson doubled to center field to lead off the frame and scored on Horner's single through the right side. Horner went to second on the throw home, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a base hit to right by Kernen.
Sill entered the game in relief with runners on first and third with one out and a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning. She induced a fly out and a groundout to end the inning. UConn hit a pair of singles to lead off the seventh, but Sill recorded three straight outs to pick up her school record-tying sixth save of the season and ninth of her career.
Tulsa used big innings in Game 2, with four runs in the first and three runs in the third stanza, adding a single run in the fourth. Sampson drew a one-out walk in the top of the first and scored on a double through the right side of the infield by Horner. Kernen and Walker then drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Horner was allowed to score on an illegal pitch, and Estocado drove a base hit up the middle to plate Kernen, and Walker scored on a double steal, crossing the plate before Estocado was caught for the third out.
Kernen and Walker led off the third with a walk and a single, and both scored on Maddie Withee's triple to center field. Withee, who was 4-for-7 in the doubleheader, scored on an RBI groundout by Estocado. The Hurricane added a run in the fourth on Withee's RBI double that scored Horner. Horner led off the inning with a base hit and stole second base to get into scoring position.
The series finale will be played at 11 a.m. CT Sunday.