Oregon State scored two runs in the first inning and held on for a 2-1 victory to end Tulsa's season at the NCAA Normal Regional on Saturday night. Earlier in the day, Tulsa fell into the losers bracket with a 7-1 loss against the No.4-ranked Oklahoma Sooners after leading that game 1-0 following five innings.
Tulsa finished the year with a 42-14 record, while the PAC-12 Oregon State Beavers improved to 36-12 and advanced to face Oklahoma on Sunday for the regional championship. The Beavers will have to win the first contest to force a second game against the Sooners.
"That was a game you see a lot of times in softball where I thought we had a lot of good contact today, but a lot of balls that were right at people, and that's something you can't control. It came down to us having to make a play in the first inning to get a third out, but it led to a second run. We couldn't get that done, and it was just a little too much to overcome in the end. I thought Aimee Creger did a nice job keeping us in the ball game to give us a chance. We had an opportunity in the last inning with the first two batters getting on base and just couldn't pull it off," said Tulsa's John Bargfeldt.
The Hurricane couldn't make it two straight days with last inning heroics against the Beavers.
Trailing 2-1, Tulsa threatened in the bottom of the seventh inning when Shelby Blanton led off with a double to the center field fence. OSU then made a pitching change as Paige Hall replaced Marina Demore. Demore had held the Hurricane to one run and five hits over her 5 and 1/3 innings of relief. Hall walked the first batter she faced, Jessica Stoelke, before Cassidy Bowen's bunt moved Blanton to third and Stoelke to second base. Hall then retired the next two Tulsa batters, striking out pinch hitter Julie Kernen and forcing Caitlin Everett to fly out to center field, to secure the win for the Beavers.
Despite a two-run, three-hit first inning for OSU, Tulsa's Creger was solid the rest of the way on the mound for the Hurricane. She only allowed two hits and four base-runners over the final six innings. Creger retired 12 straight batters after that first inning, before walking two in the sixth and giving up two hits in the seventh inning, a bunt single and double.
In the first inning, Oregon State jumped on Creger for two runs as Dani Gilmore opened with a single and scored on Hannah Bouska's double. Then after two outs, Bouska scored on a Lea Cavestany single before being caught stealing second base.
OSU began the game with Tina Andreana on the mound, but moved to Marina Demore after one walk and a total of six pitches. Demore retired the next three batters to end the first inning.
Demore continued to keep the Golden Hurricane at bay over the next five innings, allowing one runner in the second inning and two in the fifth inning before giving up Tulsa's only run in the sixth. Blanton recorded her first of two hits with a single to center field in the second inning, while Stoelke doubled and Ciarra Hughes reached on a bunt single in the fifth inning.
With two outs in the sixth inning, Hurricane senior Skylar Swanson knocked out her second home run in two days with a center field shot to cut Tulsa's deficit to one run, 2-1.
Both teams ended the game with five hits. Unlike Friday's 11-inning, 3-hour and 32-minute game, between these same two teams, tonight's contest ended in one hour and 42 minutes.