Originally Published: May 20, 2011 9:48 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
NORMAN, Okla. – The Tulsa softball team began play in the NCAA Regional with a 9-7 victory over Missouri State Friday.
The Golden Hurricane started the scoring with a huge inning in the second. Kelly Chapman reached base on an error in the first at-bat of the frame, and four of the next five batters after her also reached base.
Caitlin Everett had the biggest blow of the inning, a two-run single with the bases loaded that also advanced a runner to third. But Aimee Creger, Jill Barrett and Samantha added one RBI each to give Tulsa a five-run inning and a quick lead.
Missouri State immediately answered with two runs of its own in the next half inning to cut the lead to 5-2, but an RBI single by Lacey Middlebrooks in the fourth extended the lead back to 6-2. The Hurricane seemed to be in control, but MSU eliminated that lead with a big inning of its own.
The Bears nearly batted around in the fifth inning and drove home a total of five runs. Creger threw two wild pitches on the mound, and both came back to haunt her. One scored a run, and the other moved two runners ahead that eventually scored later in the at-bat.
Creger was pulled in favor of Middlebrooks late in the inning, and Missouri State suddenly had gone from down by four to up by one. But that did not last long.
The Hurricane responded in the bottom of the inning with three more runs, starting with an RBI single by Skylar Swanson to tie the game. She scored in the next at-bat on a triple by Everett, who also scored after an error. The three-run inning put TU back on top, where it stayed for the rest of the night.
Middlebrooks ended up with a win for the Hurricane after pitching the final 2.1 innings and giving up just one hit. Savannah Wiggins pitched a complete game for Missouri State, but came away with a loss after giving up five earned runs on 11 hits.
The victory moves Tulsa forward in the winners' bracket of the first round of NCAA Regionals. TU will face Oklahoma in the second game after the Sooners beat Iona 7-1 Friday.