Tulsa Shuts Out Arkansas, OK State Downs BYU
STILLWATER, Okla. – As a true freshman in her first NCAA Tournament game at the Stillwater Regional, Chenise Delce looked like a veteran.
Delce was lights-out and led her team to a 5-0 shutout of Arkansas in the opening game of the Regional, giving up five hits and striking out nine in a complete-game effort.
“I really tried to go into the game with a blank slate,” Delce said. “In high school, it’s a lot different, so coming here and pitching in this atmosphere is a lot different. It’s kind of scary to be honest, but you’ve just gotta go through it.”
Much like Tulsa's 2-1 win at Bogle Park in March, the Hogs and Golden Hurricanes were locked in a stalemate for most of the game, in which it was on the shoulders of the two pitchers: Delce and Razorback junior Autumn Storms.
Entering the contest, Delce knew she needed to remain focused for all 21 outs.
“When you look at the stats, when people get scared and get in their head, it just doesn’t work out,” Delce said. “So, I knew I had to stay even-keeled for us to get outs in those tough situations.”
While Delce and Tulsa (36-18) were able to remain calm throughout all seven innings, the Razorbacks (38-19) committed five errors, three of which came in the seventh inning, which led to Tulsa scoring all five of its runs to take the game.
Arkansas' Danielle Gibson noticed that Delce was a tough pitcher because of how she was able to adapt to different situations.
“I think just doing something different every at-bat and knowing that we see everybody in front of us popping up,” Gibson said.
Delce was recently named the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year and First-Team All-AAC. She was also part of the top 25 list for the Schutt Sport/NFCA National Freshman of the Year.
Delce’s teammate, senior catcher Rylie Spell, said that when it comes down to defense, the pitcher who is able to lead their team to the last out is the one who will end up on top.
“Chenise threw a great game,” Spell said. “She kept us in there the whole time. Being a nothing-nothing ball game, everyone has to do their job. It was a pitching duel. I thought it was great, and a really good team win.”
Oklahoma State Holds on Against Cougars
In Game 2 of the tournament’s opening day, the No. 13 national seed Oklahoma State (40-13) was able to hold on and defeat the BYU Cougars (29-25), 3-1.
The Pokes got out to a commanding start in the first inning. Senior second basemen Madi Sue Montgomery, sophomore first basemen Michaela Richbourg and senior pitcher Samantha Show each collected an RBI.
Montgomery recorded career RBI No. 200 and Show recorded her 51st RBI of the year.
Freshman center fielder Chyenne Factor went 2-for-3 for the Cowgirls.
BYU’s senior catcher Libby Sugg finished 2-for-2 with an RBI-single.
The win marks the only the 12th time in school history that Oklahoma State has won 40 games.