Softball beats Memphis in first home conference series of season

5 April 2017
Matt Rechtien, Sports Editor

The Golden Hurricane had their first home conference series of the year when the second-place Memphis Tigers traveled to Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane took two-of-three to win the series.

After the game against Missouri State was cancelled on Wednesday due to inclement weather, the Golden Hurricane welcomed the University of Memphis into town for their first conference homestand of the season. Though they snapped their 10-game winning streak against the Tigers, they won the best of three series to remain first in the American Athletic Conference.

The tenth and final game of the win streak was another shutout for the Golden Hurricane, their tenth of the season and the seventh for Emily Watson, who was named the Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second consecutive week. Watson struck out 11 Tigers in the win, as she moved to 17–3 on the season. The 202 strikeouts that she has this season sits currently at fourth all-time for the Golden Hurricane single-season record, and the 451 career strikeouts is sixth all-time for the Golden Hurricane.

Tulsa got on the board in the third inning when sophomore Morgan Neal moved Maggie Withee to third with one out and Tori Stafford hit a sacrifice fly to bring her home on the next at bat. Memphis’ best opportunity to score came in the fifth inning when the Tigers hit a deep fly ball, but Shelby Estocado took the home run away at the wall to keep Memphis off the board.

Tulsa scored in the home half of the fifth after an error by the Tigers on a single from Withee allowed Julia Hollingsworth to make it home. Watson finished the game off striking out the last batter with runners in scoring position to give the Golden Hurricane the 2–0 win.
In the second game of the series the Tigers exploded offensively putting up 12 hits against the Golden Hurricane’s three and snapped Tulsa’s win streak, handing them a 4–0 loss.

The Golden Hurricane flipped the script in the series finale, the second game of the double-header, knocking three hits in the first inning to take a 1–0 lead early in the game. Hollingsworth led off with a double and took third on her 14th steal of the season to move into scoring position with no outs. Withee had her first hit of the game with an RBI single to drive in Hollingsworth.

The Tigers tied in up in the top of the second, but Estocado smoked a sole home run in the bottom of the fourth to put the Golden Hurricane up 2–1 which would stand as the final score of the game.

Watson earned her 18th win of the season pitching another complete game in the win. The Golden Hurricane sit at 25–11 (5–1 AAC). Tulsa will hit the road next week to take on Oklahoma State, Wichita State and Arkansas.