Tulsa dukes it out with the East Carolina Pirates

Sports editor Jaralynn Tammi Morellano says the Golden Hurricane had some rough battles.

The University of Tulsa’s softball team entered a series of games against East Carolina University on Friday, April 12. Both teams went toe-to-toe in a three game series, both taking a victory in the first two competitions.

The Pirates’ Emma Jackson was able to hit it right out of the park in the first inning to give East Carolina an early lead. The next three batters would strike out and only one was able to graze the ball. A flyout pushed the Golden Hurricane into the bottom of the frame.

MacKenzie Denson started off TU’s campaign with an infield single to ECU’s shortstop. A wide and loose throw allowed Dawson to pass first to take second base. She proceeded to take third and a double from Imani Edwards brought Denson back to home plate to tie the game. A pitch hit Haley Morgan and brought her to first base.

Following this play, Claira Skaggs grounded a fielder’s choice to score Edwards and Tulsa pulled ahead 2-1. From then on, the score would stay excruciatingly stagnant to keep fans on the edge of their seats.

In the second, the Pirates were close to bringing the game to a tie when it loaded all the bases. Unfortunately for ECU, it already had two outs tallied and Celeste Wood would end the threat to the Golden Hurricane’s lead. Her commitment to the game shined through her quick dive to beat runner to the bag to end the top of the inning.

Both teams would go scoreless for the rest of the game, ECU falling short every time until the end. Tulsa almost scored in the fifth when the Pirates pulled off a vital double play. Skaggs grounded into a fielder’s choice to the second baseman who was able to get the runner out before they reached home. The catcher threw to try to catch Morgan at second but she beat the ball to the bag. Alert and vigilant, the shortstop threw back to home to catch Edwards who was on her way to home.

The Golden Hurricane put Kylee Nash into the circle in the seventh inning, and the senior forced a fly and a ground out to end the game 2-1 in Tulsa’s favor.

Both teams met again the following day to hash it out once more. This game was even tougher for the Golden Hurricane. The Pirates scored the first run of the game at the top of the second inning with a solo home run.

Tulsa could not fire back, and ECU took another two scores uncontested in the third inning. The score stayed 0-3 until the sixth inning when ECU took another two runs.

This time around, the Golden Hurricane was able to match those efforts and took two runs of its own in the bottom of the same inning. Maci Cole was able to make it to second and a hard line drive from Kailyn Bearpaw brought her home to score. Even with a staggering pop-up from Celeste Wood, Bearpaw was made to stay stuck at third. Kennedy Cramer hit an infield single to ECU’s shortstop to bring Bearpaw home.

The Golden Hurricane’s efforts were too late to save the game. Both teams went scoreless in the final inning, and the Pirates took the game 2-5. Tulsa and ECU entered an intense final game with identical records in the series.