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TU softball reaches third straight conference championship final

TU softball will face Houston for the American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship Saturday at 11:00 a.m. central time.

The University of Tulsa Softball Team advanced to their third straight title game in The American Softball Championships with a 6-0 victory over Memphis in the semifinal game at the ECU Softball Stadium. The Hurricane (38-15 Overall) took an early lead after scoring three runs in the first two innings while the defense cruised to their fourth straight shutout game in The American tournament play dating back to last season.

Maggie Withee paced the Tulsa offense with three hits in four appearances at the plate, including a one-out single in the first inning that set up the first runs of the afternoon.

Morgan Neal’s first of two hits came with two outs in the opening frame as the sophomore sent a hard-hit two RBI double to left center field that slid past the Memphis (29-27 Overall) center fielder to bring in an extra run and put TU up 3-0.

The Hurricane offense kept going in the second inning with another three run burst after a Shannon Hughes leadoff double down the left field line and a Shelby Estocado walk set up a Julia Hollingsworth bunt single that brought in a pair of runs after two Memphis errors.

Tori Stafford drove in the sixth and final run of the afternoon later in the frame with a one-out sacrifice fly to left field to score Hollingsworth.

Emily Watson struck out 11 batters and picked up her 13th shutout of the season, tying Aimee Creger’s 2014 campaign for the most in a season by a Tulsa pitcher. Watson’s ERA dropped the 1.00 as she moved to 27-4 on the year as the Tulsa defense extended their streak to four consecutive conference tournament games without allowing a runner past second base dating back to last year’s championship run.

Watson also recorded another career milestone as she passed Jackie Lawrence (2007-10) for second-most career strikeouts at Tulsa with 567.

Tulsa will defend their tournament title against Houston tomorrow in the championship game at 12 p.m. ET and 11 a.m. CT.

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