Feb. 8, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team opened up the 2013 campaign Friday by hosting the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic and split the pair of games on the day. Haley Outon hit a home run and twin-sister Diedre knocked in the other two runs in the seventh inning of Houston's 3-1 while the Cougars fell 4-2 to Lipscomb in the first game of the year.
"Obviously it feels great to be back out there on the field and we're all real excited, and I think that showed for some more than others," said head coach Kyla Holas. "Right now we're still searching for the right lineups, combinations and people to step up."
"Pitching wise, our hits and runs were down, while our strike outs up but we're just not doing the little things. We gave away too many freebies today and hopefully tomorrow we can clean up that defense and a more focused offense."
Houston outhit both teams but four errors on defense led to two unearned runs in what would be the decisive margin of defeat against the Bisons.
Lipscomb 4, Houston 2
Houston started the season with each of the first three batters reaching base as Holly Anderson (single), Katie St. Pierre (hit by pitch) and Jaime Edwards (walk) loaded the bases for Haley Outon. The starting catcher Outon batted into a fielders choice to force an out at home and Reina Gaber drove in the freshman St. Pierre run with her single to put Houston up 1-0.
Base runners were harder to come by as Houston managed only three more hits over the next four innings as they watched the Bisons take advantage of two unearned runs in the fourth inning to give the final score 4-2.
Diedre Outon started the game in the circle and allowed six hits with five strikeouts in her first opening game start.
Pearland (Texas) native Taylor Duplechain made her Houston debut and picked up a pair of infield singles in the effort.
Cougars put first three on base with a single, walk and hit by pitch before Reina Gaber singled home KSP to score in her first time on base in a Cougar softball uniform.
Houston 3, Texas State 1
In the second game of the day, Holas turned to starting pitcher Bailey Watts and the West Columbia (Texas) hurler set the cruised through the first six innings giving up only two hits while striking out four of the first five batters and threw three more K's on the day.
Her battery mate Haley Outon nearly cleared Scott Street to give Houston a 1-0 lead on the Pflugerville (Texas) native's first home run of the season.
"What makes Haley an All-American is all the other bats, she needs to focus on moving the runners, hitting to the gaps and focus on driving in runs. Her home runs will take care of themselves."
Outon was intentionally walked in the seventh inning which led to the winning run, and she drew another free pass in the fourth.
The Cougars sprinkled in hits in every other inning before finally stringing enough together to break the deadlock in the top of the seventh inning. This time it was Diedre Outon who supplied the power as she stepped up to pinch hit a line drive up the middle that deflected off the Bobcats pitcher's glove allowing Haley and Julia Pecina to score giving Houston the final winning score of 3-1..
HILTON HOUSTON PLAZA CLASSIC SCHEDULE
Saturday, Feb. 9
9:00 a.m. - Texas State vs. Lipscomb
11:30 a.m. - Texas State vs. Houston
2:00 p.m. Houston vs. Iowa
4:30 p.m. Lipscomb vs. ULL
7:00 p.m. - Iowa vs. ULL
Sunday, Feb. 10
9:30 a.m. - Houston vs. Lipscomb
11:30 a.m. - ULL vs. Iowa
2:00 p.m. - Texas State vs. Houston