Feb. 7, 2004
AUSTIN, Texas - In the final game of pool play of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational, the University of Houston saw their rally come up short in extra innings, falling to #11 Texas, 8-7, at McCombs Field.
Down by four and batting in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Cougars rallied to tie the game against the Longhorns. Senior Jenny Baker led off the final frame with a hard single to second, and with one out junior Kim Nesloney coaxed a walk off UT's Christina Gwyn to put runners on first and second. Both Baker and Nesloney moved up a base on a wide pitch, and junior Kristen Glowacz plated both on a triple to center field.
Senior Arelis Ferreris was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners, and then junior Jenilee Skender's fielder's choice scored Glowacz and kept the Cougars alive. Junior Jeanie Davis laced a single down the left field line, which prompted a Texas change of pitchers. Amy Bradford was brought in to face Michelle Keith, and the junior from Gainesville, Fla., ripped a double to center to tie the game; however, Davis was thrown out at the plate by a perfect throw from Longhorn outfielder Tina Boutelle.
In the extra innings both the Horns and Cougars put up goose eggs in the eighth, but in the ninth, with international rules in effect, Texas scored their run in the top of the inning while Houston came up empty in the bottom of the ninth.
Even though she picked up the loss, senior Jenny Johnson was spectacular in relief. With just one out in the second inning, Johnson relieved an ineffective Crystal Briscoe and shut down the potent Longhorns for over seven innings. Johnson allowed just six hits while striking out five, with the lone run in the ninth as unearned.
The Longhorns jumped all over Briscoe in the first two frames of the game. Texas scored three in the first on three hits, and then sent Briscoe to the showers with one out in the second after a three-run homer by Wynter Turner.
The Cougars countered with a run in the first after sophomore Brandi Clark reached on an error and later scored on a wild pitch. In the third Houston scored two to slice the UT lead to 7-3, and accomplished the feat without the benefit of a hit. Clark again started the rally by working a walk to start the frame. Nesloney reached on a fielder's choice, and both runners were sacrificed over by Glowacz's bunt. Ferreris lifted what looked like a normal sacrifice fly, but Texas left-fielder Melanie Jarrett dropped her second pop fly of the game and then wildly threw through the infield to allow Nesloney to score.
With the loss the Cougars fall to 2-1 and will face Sam Houston State later this afternoon in pool play. If the Cougars win tomorrow, they will play in the championship game at 12:30 pm at McCombs Field.