By Sara Douglass
The Tulsa women’s softball team has been performing exceptionally well all season, consistently pulling in wins that have vaulted them to the No. 1 position in our conference and landed them the No. 20 spot in the NCAA. Our softball team currently holds a 41–5 record overall, having only lost one home game and two within C-USA.
The team started the season off explosively in early February, dominating the Florida Atlantic University Kick-Off Classic with four wins, losing only one game to the home team with a score of 1–0 after eight innings. The Aggie Classic tournament the following week at Texas A&M witnessed our players controlling the field yet again.
No losses were incurred by the Golden Hurricane, only by the three teams they beat in the five-game series. During the Georgia Tech-Kennesaw State Crossover, our team won all but one of their matches; Georgia Tech outpaced them by just one run in the penultimate game of the series.
At home, the softball women always rule their field, a fact they demonstrated initially at the Tulsa Invitational on the first weekend of March and which has held true since then. Just one team, one time, has managed to take a lead on our home turf. East Carolina beat Tulsa two Saturdays ago in an energetic game during which they scored ten runs while we only managed two, even though the preceding game of that day’s double-header had seen us outpace them 11–9.
A 17-game winning streak steadily advanced our team to the top of the standings, as they swept series against Western Illinois, Marshall, Charlotte and UTEP; our final game against UTEP was an outstanding no-hitter thrown by our pitcher Aimee Creger in which we accomplished 13 runs. The women also won single games facing Arkansas, Bradley, Missouri State (an impressive 11–0 shutout), Wichita State and Central Arkansas throughout March. A 4–2 loss to University of Alabama at Birmingham brought that trend to an end, but it was the only game they gave up to UAB of a three-game match.
Over this past weekend, the team traveled to San Antonio, Texas to play UTSA. TU defeated the Roadrunners 4–0 in the first game of a double-header Friday, but needed to play four extra innings in the second game which TU won 12–11. TU swept the series by beating UTSA 2–1 Saturday afternoon.
More than a few of Tulsa softball’s games this season have been won by spectacular pitching performances by Aimee Creger, who is one of the Top 25 Finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year along with her teammate Jill Barrett. Creger is first in the nation in strikeouts per seven innings at 12.2, and this season she has pitched six shutouts, three no-hitters and three one-hitters; her opponent batting average is a meager .125.
Barrett has led our team to victory with three home runs this season and a .487 batting average that sets her at second in the nation. Her 42 total runs scored have also delivered us multiple games.
For those of you who have not been out to see a softball game, Tulsa will face Middle Tennessee in a double-header on Saturday, April 26, beginning at 1 p.m. and then the two teams will play again at noon on Sunday. Tulsa and Oklahoma State will also face off in Stillwater, Okla. Wednesday at 7 p.m. and in Tulsa a week later at 5 p.m.