Sophomore third baseman Maggie Withee went 3-for-4 with three RBI and junior left fielder Jodi Edmiston went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs to lead the Tulsa softball team to a 9-2 win over Missouri State Wednesday afternoon at the Collins Family Softball Complex.
The Golden Hurricane improved to 31-17, while the Bears fell to 28-22. Senior Bailey Erwin (16-3) received the start in the circle in her final home game with the Hurricane, and tossed 4.0 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits to earn her 16th victory of the season. Junior Caitlin Sill pitched 3.0 shutout innings, allowing two hits, to pick up her fifth save of the year. Missouri State starter Chelsea Jones (13-9) allowed eight runs and five earned runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings to take the loss.
Senior first baseman Julie Kernen tied the game, 1-1, with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. It was her 12th home run and 56th RBI of the season, matching the school RBI record set by Skylar Swanson (2009-12) in 2012. Kernen's homer sparked a four-run frame that gave the Hurricane a 4-1 lead. TU added five runs in the bottom of the third, making the score 9-2. Missouri State scored its runs in the first and third innings.
Sophomore center fielder Maddie Withee and freshman shortstop Shelby Estocado each were 2-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs, and Estocado added an RBI. Sophomore right fielder Brittany Walker drove in a run and scored once, and junior catcher Catherine Horner scored a run for the Hurricane. TU totaled 12 hits in the ballgame, recording double digit hits for the 16th time this season.
"I thought we struggled with our bats all weekend, so this was good to see. A lot of balls were squared up on the barrel today, and that was something that we didn't do this past weekend," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldtsaid. "We know how much hitting is about confidence, and when we started getting a lot of good, quality contact, the players just fed off of it."
Missouri State got on the board with an unearned run in the first inning when first baseman Mary Stephens reached on an error at short and scored on a base hit by shortstop Erin Duewel.
Kernen led off the bottom of the second with her homer to center field. Maddie Withee followed with a one-out triple down the right field line and scored on Estocado's base hit to right. Edmiston sent a two-out single through the left side of the infield, and Maggie Withee cleared the bases with a triple down the right field line, plating both Estocado and Edmiston.
The Bears made the score 4-2 in the top of the third inning on a solo home run to left field by Chlesea Jones.
Tulsa responded with a five-spot in the bottom of the frame, pushing its lead to 9-2. Horner led off with a walk, stole second and moved to third when the throw down went into center field. She scored on Walker's base hit to center, and Maddie Withee followed with a single to the third base line. Estocado reached when her sacrifice bunt attempt was mishandled at the bag by the second baseman, and Walker scored from second on the play. Estocado stole second, and Edmiston cleared the bases with a double down the left field line. Maggie Withee then singled home Edmiston.
Sill entered the game in relief to start the fifth inning, and retired the first five batters she faced. After a leadoff single to start the seventh inning, she sat down the next three batters to end the game.
The Golden Hurricane concludes the regular season with a three-game series at UConn Saturday and Sunday in Storrs, Conn. The teams play a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. CT Saturday, and a single game at 11 a.m. CT Sunday.