Softball Falls To Tulsa In 10 Innings Of Championship Tournament
May 11, 2006
TULSA, Okla. --- Top-seeded Tulsa ended fifth-seeded East Carolina's seven-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Conference USA Softball Championship here Thursday night.
After the loss, ECU (40-23) will now face Houston in an elimination game Friday at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Tulsa (32-21) advances to play Marshall in the semifinals at 5 p.m. EDT.
The game changed leads twice during the sixth and seventh innings before ending in a 3-3 tie to force the extra frames.
The game appeared to be headed to the 11th inning when Keli McGlasson hit a ground ball back to freshman pitcher Brooke Swann (6-4) with two out, but her throw to first base sailed high and Torres scored from second base to end the game.
After being held to just one hit in the first four innings, the Pirates began to string hits together in the fifth. ECU collected two hits in the frame as Beth Nolan led off with a double and Jessica Potter followed with a single to right field. Nolan attempted to break the scoreless tie on Potter's hit, but was thrown out at the plate by right fielder Jessica Barr and the game remained scoreless until the sixth.
Facing a similar situation in the sixth, the Pirates sent pinch-runner Brently Bridgeforth home on a base hit to right by Paige Baggett. Barr's throw home was late and the Pirates scored the game's first run.
Tulsa seized the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Brooke Smart and Katie Torres hit solo home runs for a 2-1 advantage.
Refusing to concede defeat, the Pirates rallied to retake the lead in the seventh. Potter doubled to left center to lead off the inning before being lifted for a pinch-runner. After pinch-hitter Joyce Roodenburg sacrificed Sarah Bibee to third base, pinch-hitter Angel Barrella singled up the middle to tie the game.
Following another sacrifice bunt, St. Ledger doubled off the glove of a diving Stephanie Komicki at third base to give ECU a 3-2 lead and three outs shy of advancing.
Pinch-hitter Lindsey Tower then assured that the two teams would play extra innings with a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the frame to tie the game. It was the first of her career.
ECU starting pitcher Keli Harrell tossed seven innings before replaced by Swann. Harrell struck out three and walked two, while surrendering five hits.
Swann retired the side in order in the eighth, but ran into trouble in the ninth as the Hurricane put runners at the corners with no outs. However, Swann induced three consecutive ground balls to send the game to the 10th inning.
Jessup, Potter and St. Ledger each collected two hits for the Pirates as ECU recorded nine hits in all.
Tulsa pitcher Maren Genow and Julie Fennell (12-7) combined to strikeout 14 Pirates, with Fennell limiting the Pirates to two hits in the final 3.1 innings with seven strikeouts.