Softball sweeps Houston, takes possession of first

27 April 2017
Matt Rechtien, Sports Editor

Tulsa took over the conference lead with a sweep of their division rival, the Cougars. With the regular season coming to a close, the Golden Hurricane will look to make a big splash in the postseason.

The Golden Hurricane softball team recovered from their two game losing streak to Wichita State and Arkansas with a sweep over conference foe Houston over the weekend. The sweep put them back in possession of first in the Conference with a 8–1 record in the American.

The Golden Hurricane travelled to Fayetteville to take on the No. 24 Razorbacks last Wednesday in a matchup of top-30 RPI teams. The Razorbacks put up three runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings against Madison Higley who was credited with the loss.

The Golden Hurricane put up a run in the sixth, but couldn’t muster any more offense and the score ended 1–3 in favor of the home team.
The first game of the Houston series went to 10 innings, stretching across Thursday and Friday because of inclement weather.

Emily Watson, who was named the Conference Pitcher of the Week for the fifth time this season after she tied the program record for single-game strikeouts with 17 in the win over Oklahoma State, broke single-game record for strikeouts in the 10-inning 1–0 win with 21 total strikeouts.

21 strikeouts is the second most in Division I this season and Watson now has a 20–3 record and eight shutouts on the season.

Sophomore Haley Meinen led the way in the second game of series both offensively and defensively for the Golden Hurricane. Meinen went 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and tossed four scoreless innings in relief to get the win for Tulsa.

After the Cougars took a 4–0 lead thanks to four unearned runs, Tulsa scored six straight to take the lead and hold the Cougars to take the win.

In the series finale the Cougars jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the first inning, but the Golden Hurricane responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half, and added onto their lead in the second and third to jump to a 7–3 lead in the third which would hold for the game.

Watson entered the game in the top of the seventh inning with the bases load and induced a double-play to end the game and earn her second save of the inning and complete the sweep, the second one of the season for the Golden Hurricane.

Tulsa sits at 29–13 (8–1 AAC) currently and have ten games remaining before the conference tournament. They have the best record in the American, both overall and in-conference, and will play six games against UConn and East Carolina who are the bottom two teams in the conference.

The team will undoubtedly make the NCAA Tournament again this season and could make a deep run into the postseason.