BOCA RATON, Fla. — North Texas battered Tulsa ace Aimee Creger in both teams’ regular-season finale last week. Creger exacted a little revenge Friday afternoon and ended UNT’s season in the process.
The Tulsa senior allowed just one run in six innings while powering the Golden Hurricane to a 7-1 win over the Mean Green in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament at FAU Softball Stadium.
Creger improved to 26-1 while striking out eight UNT batters in a performance that marked a dramatic turnaround from the teams’ game a few days before. UNT (31-22) shelled Creger for five runs, five hits and three walks while she retired just one of the six batters she faced in a third of an inning.
UNT, the fifth seed, managed only three hits and three walks in its rematch with Tulsa’s top pitcher.
The top-seeded Golden Hurricane (49-7) advanced to the C-USA tournament title game at noon today, when Tulsa will face Marshall, the seventh seed.
UNT pitcher Ashley Kirk faced off with Creger in the two meetings and took the loss in the tournament after allowing six runs, four of which were earned, five hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.
The Golden Hurricane scored early, notching four runs in the first two innings.
UNT struck back with a run in the top of the third when Brooke Foster belted a single to score Bryana Wade, cutting Tulsa’s lead to 4-1.
That would be all UNT could muster against Creger, as the Mean Green left nine runners on base.
Any hopes UNT had of coming back after posting its only run of the day were quickly dashed when Tulsa added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth and another in the sixth.
The loss ended the careers of two of the top players in school history in Kirk and Foster and the Mean Green’s first season under coach Tracey Kee. Kirk finished her career with a program-record 61 wins, while Foster posted a record 225 hits.
Kirk and Foster helped Kee lead UNT to a team-record 31 wins in her debut campaign.