After three weeks on the road, the Golden Hurricane softball team finally returned to Tulsa for their home opener last weekend in the Tulsa Invitational.
After a strong start to their season, going 11–4 in the first three weekends of play, the Golden Hurricane started off their own tournament with back-to-back wins on over the Iowa Hawkeyes (2–1) and the Lamar Cardinals (14–2) on Friday.
Sophomore Shelby Estocado and junior Maggie Withee led the way for the Golden Hurricane with five hits / three runs and three hits / four runs respectively.
After trailing early in the first game against the Hawkeyes, Estocado hit a homerun (her first of the weekend) to tie it up before Morgen Neal drove in Maggie Withee in the fifth inning to take the 2–1 lead that would last for the Golden Hurricane.
In the game against Lamar, three different Golden Hurricane players had three RBIs that lead Tulsa to the run-rule victory (meaning that they only played five innings instead of the usual seven).
In the first inning alone, TU had seven runs on seven hits.
Caitlin Sill, who was named the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week, picked up her sixth win of the season against Iowa, pitching the complete game and surrendering only the one run.
Emily Watson picked up her fifth win of the season against Lamar pitching four innings, recording three strikeouts and giving up only one run in the game.
In their second game against Iowa on Sunday morning, the Golden Hurricane jumped out to an early lead, this time scoring nine straight runs, before outlasting a two-inning seven run rally by Iowa, to take the win 9–7.
Estocado and senior Jodi Edmiston led the way with two RBIs apiece. Ellie Reeves picked up the win, but gave up seven runs, six earned, in the fourth and fifth innings. Emily Watson stepped in as a reliever and picked up her first save of the season, finishing out the final two innings.
In their final game of the tournament, once again against Lamar the Golden Hurricane, had a very similar result as in their first match, this time winning 9–0. After scoring two runs in the first two innings, Tulsa exploded for seven in the third.
It started with a two-run homerun by Estocado, her second of the weekend, and was immediately followed by another homerun, this time a solo shot by freshman outfielder Julia Hollingsworth.
Neal and catcher Catherine Horner added two more runs on hits, a single and double, respectively, and the Golden Hurricane took advantage of two throwing errors by Lamar to add two more runs to their lead, putting the game out of reach for the Cardinals.
Defensively, Tulsa did not need to do much as Lamar only managed to get five base-runners with four hits and one walk. Sill pitched the complete-game-shutout, which once again ended after only five innings, earning her seventh win in the process.
After this weekend the Golden Hurricane’s record sits at 15–4, and they’re in action next against Oklahoma at home on Wednesday.