Junior Erica Sampson and freshman Jill Roye each drove in three runs, and five Hurricane players tallied two hits to lead No. 21 Tulsa to an 8-2 win over Georgia State Sunday to conclude the Georgia Tech/Kennesaw State Crossover at Shirley Clements Mewborn Field.
Sampson hit a three-run home run – her fourth of the season – as part of a 2-for-2 day, and Roye hit two run-scoring singles. Senior shortstop Jill Barrett was 2-for-4 with two RBI, and senior second baseman Shelby Blanton and freshman third baseman Maggie Withee each had a pair of base hits for the Golden Hurricane (13-2), which rang up 11 hits in the game.
Senior Aimee Creger (6-0) started and earned the win, striking out 10 batters in 5.0 innings. Junior Bailey Erwin tossed the final 2.0 innings, allowing no runs. The TU pitchers combined to allow just three hits in the contest. Kaitlyn Medlam (3-2), who started and was one of three pitchers for the Panthers (6-3), pitched 3.0 innings and allowed four runs to absorb the loss.
With Sunday's victory, the Golden Hurricane capped a 4-1 weekend. TU swept Kennesaw State on Friday, 1-0 and 6-1, and split at Georgia Tech Saturday, winning 11-3 and falling 2-1.
"Pitching and defense wasn't particularly sharp, but the offense came through with a lot more production today," Tulsa coach John Bargfeldt said. "It's always good to come home with a Sunday win. It makes the trip home a lot more pleasant.
"One of the things that you ask for is that your team show up and play in every game," Bargfeldt continued. "I felt like we've done that all season, and we did that in all five games this weekend as well. Obviously we'd like to finish 5-0, but even in the game we got beat, we were competing. I was happy to see that. I think the team is showing that they can win in different ways. There were games when offense would carry us, and there were games when pitching and defense would carry us. It's good to be multifaceted and win in different ways."
After giving up a run in the second, Tulsa scored four in the top of the third, added one in the fourth, two in the fifth and one more run in the seventh.
In the top of the third, Barrett hit an RBI double, scoring Withee, who led off the inning with a base hit. Senior right fielder Haley Henshaw followed Withee with a walk, and after Barrett's double, Sampson clubbed a one-out three-run homer to left field, giving TU a 4-1 lead.
Georgia State took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by center fielder Ashley Christy, scoring third baseman Callie Alford. The Panthers scored their second run in the third inning on a solo home run by right fielder Megan Litumbe.
Barrett gave the Golden Hurricane a 5-1 lead in the fourth inning, lining a single into left to score sophomore left fielder Jodi Edmiston, who drew a one-out walk. Blanton led off the fifth with a single and Sampson followed with a walk, before both scored on Roye's base hit, extending the lead to 7-2. Roye singled home Blanton in the seventh to make the 8-2 score.
The Panthers scored their second-inning run with two outs and followed the RBI single by loading the bases, but a Creger strikeout ended the inning. After the one-out homer in the third, Creger did not allow another hit. GSU got a runner on in the fourth on an error, and an error and two walks in the fifth, pushing runners to second and third, but a pop out ended the threat. Erwin entered the game to start the sixth and allowed only a single in the sixth and a walk in the seventh, but struck out the side in the bottom of the last to seal the win.
The Golden Hurricane will play at home for the first time this season next weekend when it plays host to Creighton and Northwestern State in the Tulsa Invitational, Feb. 28-March 2 at the Collins Family Softball Complex. TU plays Creighton at 4 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday, and Northwestern State at 1 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Creighton and NSU play each other at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.