OKLAHOMA, Washington win easily

Friday, May 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Leah Gulla had a two-run double in a six-run fifth inning that carried Oklahoma to a 9-2 victory over Lehigh in the first round of the NCAA regional softball tournament Thursday.

The top-seeded Sooners (46-7), defending national champions, have won 18 straight games. They advance to play Friday against a team to be determined.

Lehigh (39-14) stayed alive in the tournament, beating Seton Hall 2-0 in a late elimination game. Seton Hall (29-16), which lost to second-seeded Washington 6-0, was eliminated.

Oklahoma strung together eight straight hits in its big inning. Gulla had the only extra-base hit; the rest were singles, one of them a bunt.

Mandy Fulton added a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Jennifer Stump had hit a solo shot in the second.

Washington (38-21) got a three-run homer from Courtney Jeffries and a two-run single from Amanda Oleson to beat Seton Hall. Tia Bollinger (34-6) and Shannon Walsh combined on a one-hitter _ a bunt single in the sixth inning by Meg Berry.

In an evening game, Brandi Cross hit a two-run double in the sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie as Massachusetts (44-1) beat North Carolina 4-2.

Kaila Holtz (13-1) pitched seven innings, allowing seven hits and two runs for Massachusetts.

Radara McHugh (23-11) also pitched seven innings, allowing seven hits and four runs in taking the loss for North Carolina (37-18-1). Natalie Anter's two-run double in the third inning provided North Carolina's only runs.

In the losers bracket game, pitcher Jenny Bender allowed five hits and no runs in seven innings pitched for Lehigh, which advanced to play North Carolina in a 2:30 p.m. game on Friday.