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Greater Tulsa Reporter


TU Women Best in Conference Softball, Rowing


SOFTBALL CHAMPIONS: From left, senior captains Ashley Kiser, Shelby Estocado, Emily Watson and Shannon Hughes proudly display the American Athletic Conference championship trophy.


Photo by BEN SOLOMAN


The University of Tulsa women softball and rowing teams were champions in their respective sports this spring in the American Athletic Conference.

 Emily Watson allowed just an unearned run on three hits with eight strikeouts as Tulsa defeated top-seeded USF, 4-1, to claim its third straight American Athletic Conference Championship at the USF Softball Stadium.

 The University of Tulsa’s Varsity 8 Boat claimed the first American Athletic Conference Boat of the Year nod in program history following voting by the conference’s head coaches.

In softball, for the second straight season, Watson was named the championship’s Most Outstanding Player. The senior pitched all 21 innings for the Golden Hurricane (33-23) and went 3-0, out-dueling all three pitchers who were named to the all-conference first team, with a 0.33 ERA and a tournament-record 36 strikeouts.

Watson was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Julia Hollingsworth, Morgan Neal and Haley Meinen and closed her career in the American Championship with a perfect 6-0 record, a 0.17 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 42 innings of work.

In rowing,  the Golden Hurricane crew with positions listed, consists of Hannah Vissers (Bow), Sophia Camara (2), Paige Hallam (3), Lauren Vander Hoeven (4), Veronique Ulrich (5), Lucy Coleman (6), Eleanor Russell (7), Helen Leigh (Stroke) and Samantha Barber (cox). They earned several noteworthy placements during the course of the season, twice earning conference Boat of the Week accolades.

At the Sunshine State Invitational April 6-7, Tulsa placed first and second on back-to-back days in the eight-team field. The first-place finish came via a 6:26.90 time to top the race that included eventual American Champions UCF, Clemson, Miami, SMU, Jacksonville, North Carolina and Stetson.

The crew then earned its second Boat of the Week honor in as many weeks following a standout performance at the Clemson Invitational April 13-14. In the B Final, the Golden Hurricane powered to a 6:21.85 time, defeating the likes of three teams receiving votes in the week’s CRCA/US Rowing Coaches Poll (Louisville, UCLA, Minnesota).

Tulsa capped the regular season with its 11th straight Lawless Cup victory over Creighton, and headed into the American Championships on May 12 as the top-seeded crew in the Varsity 8. The Golden Hurricane secured second-place in the event in 7:02.33, less than three seconds behind winner UCF. The performance carried Tulsa to a second-place team finish for the fourth-straight year.

Four members of the Varsity 8 crew, including Russell (First Team), Vissers (First Team), Barber (Second Team) and Leigh (Second Team) were tabbed to the 2018 All-Conference teams following the Championship.

Updated 06-18-2018

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