The Bulls, 44-13 on the season, are in the AAC conference title game after beating Houston 4 to 1 on Friday afternoon to advance (this game begins at noon on Saturday). Tulsa, 34-19 overall, beat C. Florida 4 to 0 to advance to the title game. USF was 3-0 against them in the regular season in Tulsa’s house. Can they do it again?
Entering the tournament, USF is batting .328 as a team (before the tournament started) and have a staff ERA of 2.52 (opponents batting .227 against them). Tulsa is batting .293 as a team and has a staff ERA of 2.25 (opponents are batting .241 against them). This should be a real close battle.
Leading the Tulsa offense is junior infielder Shelby Withee who is batting .379 with 8 doubles, has driven in 9 runs, and has scored 45 runs on the season. Withee was 3 for 11 with a run scored, drew a walk and struck out 1 batter in the regular season meetings. Sophomore infielder Shelby Estocado is batting .333 with 8 doubles, leads the team with 11 home runs, has driven in 39 runs, scored 45 more and is 6 for 8 in steal attempts. She was 1 for 9 with 3 RBIs, a walk and drew a walk in the first 3 games during the regular season. Freshman outfielder Juli Hollingsworth is batting .344 with 9 doubles, with a triple, 2 home runs, with 29 RBIs, has scored 29 runs and is 12 for 13 in steal attempts. She was 2 for 8 with 2 runs scored, 3 strike outs and drew a walk in the regular season meetings. Tulsa has a lot of great hitters that will challenge Erica Nunn and the USF staff.
Leading the Tulsa staff is senior Caitlin Sill who is 17-10 (1.87 ERA) and has thrown 164.2 innings, allowing 156 hits, 65 runs, 75 walks and has struck out 86 batters on the season. She pitched in all 3 regular season games, throwing 16.2 combined innings, allowing 19 hits, 10 runs, 12 walks, and struck out 4 batters. Sophomore Emily Watson is 12-9 (2.31 ERA) and has thrown 121.1 innings, allowing 98 hits, 51 runs, 45 walks and has struck out 172 batters on the season. She pitched in just one game, going 4.1 innings, allowing 9 hits, 6 runs, 2 walks and struck out 7 batters. The USF offense was able to 16 runs in the 3 regular season games and should be able to get it done again in this final tournament game.
Well, here we go. Championship game. Time to take another title and add it to the trophy case. Good luck ladies!