The Tulsa softball team opened the Unconquered Invitational Friday with a pair of wins over ranked opponents, as the Golden Hurricane defeated No. 25/21 Florida State, 3-2 (8 inn.), and No. 21/25 Hofstra, 9-6, at JoAnne Graf Field.
The Golden Hurricane (5-2) began the day with a tense, extra-inning victory over the host Seminoles. Junior Aimee Creger (2-0) pitched 7.1 no-hit innings, and struck out 13 batters in the complete-game win. Junior outfielder Haley Henshaw hit a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to give TU its eventual winning runs.
In the evening contest, the Hurricane slugged out a 9-6 victory over Hofstra. Henshaw went 3-for-4 with two RBI in the game, and sophomore first baseman Julie Kernen added a home run and three RBI. Junior third baseman Jill Barrett also tallied a pair of singles and two RBI.
Senior Lacey Middlebrooks (2-1) pitched 5.0 innings to earn the win. Just one of her three runs allowed was earned, and she added a pair of hits and scored a run at the plate.
Henshaw ended the day 4-for-8 with five RBI, while Barrett went 4-for-8 with two RBI in the two games.
"I was really proud of how we came out in the first game against Florida State," Tulsa head coach John Bargfeldt said. "We've been in several high-tension games, so we responded very well. We kind of let down with a lead in the second game. I'm hoping we can play as well in a game with a lead as we do when it's 0-0 or a tight game. I told the team: when one phase isn't as sharp as you are accustomed to it being, you have to pick up the slack in another phase. The fielding let us down a little bit against Hofstra, but our hitting picked up the slack, and we kept scoring runs and answering back."
The Golden Hurricane plays Arkansas at 9 a.m. Saturday to complete the round robin. The tournament then moves into bracket play Saturday afternoon with game times and opponents to be determined.