Right fielder Haley Henshaw's game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning gave Tulsa a 7-6 win over Western Illinois on Tuesday at the Collins Softball Complex.
Center fielder Cierra Hughes led off the seventh inning for No. 20 Tulsa (20-3) with a bunt single and moved to second after designated hitter Aimee Creger's walk. Third baseman Maggie Withee successfully bunted both runners to second and third before Henshaw's game-winning RBI single with one out that drove in Hughes from third.
First baseman Jill Roye broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run to center field to give the Golden Hurricane a 1-0 lead. After a walk from left fielder Jodi Edmiston, Hughes doubled to center field to put runners on second and third with no outs.
Creger hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Edmiston to give Tulsa a 2-0 lead. After a pop out to third base for the second out of the inning, Henshaw delivered with an RBI single to right field to bring in Hughes to increase TU's lead to 3-0.
Western Illinois (11-7) fought back and scored four runs in the top of the third inning to take a 4-3 lead over the Golden Hurricane.
WIU extended its lead to three runs with two runs in the top of the fifth inning, but Tulsa tied the game in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three runs.
Cather Erica Sampson led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a walk and went to second after Roye's single up the middle. Edmiston's RBI double down the left field line to score Sampson to cut WIU's lead to 6-4. Hughes grounded out to second base for the first out of the inning to bring in Brittany Walker, who pinch ran for Roye, to bring Tulsa within a run, 6-5.
After a groundout to the pitcher for the second out of the inning, Kaitlin Allen, who pinched hit for Withee, got on first after a hit-by-pitch. Henshaw walked to load the bases with two outs for shortstop Jill Barrett. Barrett delivered with an RBI single to the shortstop to bring home Edmiston. The Golden Hurricane threat ended there with a groundout to first base for the third out and to leave the bases loaded.
Both teams went 1-2-3 in the sixth inning and Western Illinois also went 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh inning before Tulsa scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Bailey Erwin (7-0) earns the win in relief pitching the final 3.0 innings, giving up one run on three hits with one strikeout, while Caitlin Sill pitched 4.0 innings giving up five runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.
Barrett led Tulsa at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance to increase her batting average to .500 on the season, while Roye, Hughes and Henshaw added two hits each. Barrett also recorded an RBI in the fifth inning, which gives her 91 career RBIs and ties her for eighth most in school history.
Teagan Walsh (1-1) picked up the loss for Western Illinois as she pitched the final 2.1 innings, giving up one run on three hits, while Kacyee Hart pitched the first 4.0 innings giving up six runs on seven hits with four walks. Briana Williams, Kanssa Kouchis and Megg Kelly each at two hits at the plate and Walsh had three RBIs for WIU.
The Golden Hurricane hosts Arkansas on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Collins Softball Complex before opening Conference USA play this weekend.