Houston’s three-run home run in the third inning proved to be the difference, as 23rd-ranked Tulsa fell to the Cougars, 3-0, in the semifinals of the 2013 Conference USA Championship Friday afternoon at the Collins Family Softball Complex.
Aimee Creger (25-6) struck out four batters and allowed just four hits to absorb the loss for the Golden Hurricane (42-14-1). Bailey Watts (19-5) allowed two hits and struck out two batters to earn the win for the Cougars (40-17).
Tulsa now awaits its NCAA Tournament fate. The NCAA Softball Selection Show will take place Sunday at 9 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.
“It was two good teams, and we made a mistake to the wrong hitter,” Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. “Anything that we squared up – there were some crazy things that happened today. You can’t explain those things, when balls are bouncing off of one fielder and bouncing right to another fielder, and people making outstanding plays. But you have to give them credit. They were hustling and looking for a play to make. When you see several of those plays happen like that, you just shake your head and say, ‘Wow, is this going to be our day or not?’ I thought we fought to the end. We just made mistakes with two pitches and it cost us.”
With two runners on in the top of the third, Holly Anderson hit a three-run homer to left center field, giving Houston a 3-0 lead.
After that home run, Creger retired the next seven in a row and allowed only a bunt single for the rest of the game.
Caitlin Everett hit a double in the first inning, and Cassidy Bowen singled in the third inning. TU hit some balls hard, but Houston made defensive plays that prevented the Hurricane from scoring any runs.
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