Sampson's Slugging Leads TU Softball To Regional Final

Erica Sampson went 4-for-5 with four RBI to lead an offensive onslaught as No. 18 Tulsa staved off elimination with a 10-6 win over Houston Saturday evening in the NCAA Waco Regional at Getterman Stadium.

The Golden Hurricane (52-8) advances to the final round of the regional, where it will face Baylor at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Sampson got the scoring started with a two-run home run over the 220 sign in straightaway center field in the top of the first inning. From there, the Hurricane plated a run in every inning, including two runs in the fourth and seventh frames.

Nine of Tulsa's 14 hits went for extra bases. Sampson and Catherine Horner each homered and doubled, while Shelby Blanton, who was 3-for-5 with two runs, doubled and tripled. Leadoff hitter Jill Barrett went 2-for-4 and scored twice, as the top four hitters in the TU lineup combined to go 11-for-19 with seven RBI and scored eight runs, including seven extra base hits.

The Cougars (33-23) attempted to keep the pace, scoring in every inning except the fifth and seventh frames. The score was tied at four through three innings before the Hurricane scored twice in the top of the fourth and again in the fifth to pull out to a 7-5 lead.

Caitlin Sill (11-3) allowed one hit in 4.0 innings of relief to earn the win for Tulsa. Deidre Outon (15-11) pitched 3.2 innings in relief for Houston and took the loss.

Tulsa is playing in the final round of the regional for the third time in program history. The Hurricane will have to defeat Baylor twice to advance to the Super Regional. TU also played in the regional finals in 2009 and 2011.