Junior Caitlin Sill pitched a complete-game three-hit shutout, and seven different Tulsa players recorded a hit as the Golden Hurricane softball team defeated Oklahoma State, 3-0, Wednesday evening at the Collins Family Softball Complex.
Sill (8-9) struck out five batters and allowed just three hits to earn the victory for the Hurricane (27-15). She did not allow OSU a hit until the fifth inning, while TU totaled 11 hits in the ballgame. Brandi Needham (11-12) took the complete game loss for the Cowgirls (19-23).
Senior first baseman Julie Kernen, sophomore right fielder Brittany Walker and sophomore center fielder Maddie Withee each drove in runs for the Hurricane. Senior catcher Erica Sampson went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored Tulsa's first run of the game. Sophomore third baseman Maggie Withee and junior designated player Catherine Horner crossed the plate in the third inning.
Tulsa and Oklahoma State will meet again Thursday at 7 p.m. at Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater.
“We played well tonight. When you look at all the defensive plays that were made, we just kept their table setters off the bases,” Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. “Then, we had a lot of hits in the game. I thought we left a lot of opportunities to score, but you have to give credit to their pitcher too. She made some pitches that we didn't get a really good swing on, and their left fielder made a really nice catch going up against the fence. You can't say enough about Caitlin Sill. She's being pitching well for several weeks now. She and Erica have been doing a great job calling games, setting up hitters, and making them take some sting out of their swings.”
The Hurricane scored a run in the first inning, and added two more in the third frame. Sampson led off the bottom of the first with a single back up the middle. She moved around to score on Kernen's base hit through the right side of the infield.
Maggie Withee started the third inning with a single into left, and Horner followed with a walk. After a fly out to deep right field, Withee scored from third on Walker's base hit into right field, and Maddie Withee drove home Horner on a groundout to short.
Oklahoma State drew two one-out walks in the first inning, but a fielder's choice groundout and a foul pop out to third base ended the inning. Sill paired with a stout defense to keep OSU without a hit until the fifth inning, when shortstop Randee O'Donnell doubles down the line in left field. O'Donnell finished with two hits, including a base hit in the seventh, while right fielder Shianne Hughes singled in the sixth inning.
“One of the things that we're asking our players, is to bring the same focus each game,” Bargfeldt said. “You could tell that they were into this game. There have been a couple of games recently where they didn't bring the focus. We pointed that out to them, and so far, they've responded really well. This past weekend, they brought the focus in all three games in a conference sweep (at East Carolina), and they brought it here again tonight. That's what we'll be looking for, is for them to bring the same focus and energy to the game tomorrow.”
Following Thursday's road game at OSU, the Hurricane will play a pair of games at home this weekend. TU plays host to Kansas for single games Saturday and Sunday, each scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.