NORMAN, Okla. -- Aimee Creger's three-run homer in the top of the first inning gave Tulsa all the offense it would need Saturday evening in a 11-0 victory over Missouri State that eliminated the Bears from NCAA Tournament play. The Golden Hurricane banged out 13 hits against the Missouri Valley Conference champions, who concluded the 2011 season with a 30-25 overall record.
Missouri State, which defeated Iona earlier in the day for its first postseason win since 1998, never mounted a serious offensive threat against TU starter Jordan Kinnar, who worked a complete-game shutout to help the Golden Hurricane advance to a Sunday afternoon rematch with host Oklahoma that will decide the Norman Regional.
Just as they did in Friday's 9-7 regional-opening win over the Bears, the Golden Hurricane struck first Saturday with a big inning to gain the upper hand. Caitlin Everett and Jill Barrett drew back-to-back walks from MSU starter Savannah Wiggins to begin the game, and--after a Samantha Cobb ground out--Creger handed Kinnard a 3-0 lead with long blast that cleared the wall in left-center.
Tulsa went back to work in the third, with Barrett's one-out single kicking off another three-run inning for the Golden Hurricane. Cobb doubled home Barrett, then scored on a Kelly Chapman base hit through the left side for a 5-0 TU advantage. Skylar Swanson added a single to right against reliever Jourdan Esquenazi, before Shelby Blanton drove in the third run of the frame with a hit to left field.
TU would put the game out of reach with another three-spot in the fourth, highlighted by Cobb's two-run homer.
Kinnard gave up just one hit to earn her 10th victory, while Wiggins wrapped up her freshman campaign with an 8-5 mark after allowing seven runs on six hits over 3 2/3 innings.
Cobb enjoyed a monster game at the plate, totaling five RBIs and three runs scored in going 3-for-4.
Christa Gammon registered the lone MSU hit to go along with a walk in her two plate appearances.