NORMAN — Jessica Stoelke hit a two-run single in the 11th inning to lift Tulsa to a 9-7 victory over Oregon State in the opening game of the Norman Regional Friday night at the OU Softball Complex.
TU will face the winner of Friday night's contest between Oklahoma and Lehigh that began around 9 p.m. First pitch of that game is at 1 p.m. Saturday. Oregon State will play the loser of the OU-Lehigh game at 3 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game.
The Golden Hurricane had to survive a late rally by Oregon State, though. The Beavers scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 7 and send it to extra innings. Desiree Beltran came up with the key hit when she dropped a two-run single just inside the right-field line to score Madison Bundy and Elizabeth Santana and even the score.
“We're all fighters,” said Stoelke, who had just four hits in her previous 14 games entering Friday. “We all have that competitive instinct. None of us like to lose, so it's just waiting for the next pitch. We've been getting runners on base, we know we play solid defense, so just got to take it one pitch at a time.”
Both teams had plenty of chances to capitalize in extra innings.
Oregon State looked like it might end the game in the eighth, but Dani Gilmore was called out at the plate after being sent home on a fielder's choice hit to short by Erin Guzy.
TU then loaded the bases in the ninth and 10th innings but could not get a run across.
Golden Hurricane starter Lacey Middlebrooks allowed 11 hits and six earned runs in seven innings, while Aimee Creger gave up no runs, one hit and four walks in four innings of relief.