Feb. 15, 2014
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team took two wins on the second day of the Houston Hilton Plaza Classic on Saturday afternoon to improve their record to 3-1 on the young season. The Cougars shutout Army 6-0 in the first game before belting out 13 hits en route to a 13-5 victory over Sam Houston State in the nightcap.
Sophomore Selena Hernandez went 4-for-8 on the day with a home run and three doubles, RBI and runs scored. The Texas State transfer proved to be a catalyst for the UH offense all day as the Cougars outscored their competition 19-5 on the day.
Senior Diedre Outon pitched 10 inning of scoreless shutout work during her first taste of action of the 2014 season.
HOUSTON 6, ARMY 0 - BOX SCORE
Behind a solid pitching performance from Diedre Outon, Houston blanked Army 6-0 in the first game of the second day of the Houston Hilton Plaza Classic Saturday afternoon.
Junior Diedre Outon earned the win in the circle during her first appearance of the year. The righty scattered four hits in her complete game performance and also went 1-for-3 at the plate.
All six of Houston's runs came across in the second and fifth innings as the Cougars improved to 2-1 on the year.
Houston erupted for a four-run spot in the fifth inning to clinch the victory. Selena Hernandez launched a shot off the centerfield fence to begin a run of four-straight hits. It was the second double of the game for the Austin, Texas, native and she scored Alexis Dunn on the extra-base hit. Following Hernandez, junior Kayla Holland singled and cleanup hitter Haley Outon followed suit, driving in Hernandez. Junior Tiffani McKnight continued the scoring spree as she the most of her first start in a Houston uniform as she connected on a solo home run during the inning.
Katie St. Pierre laced a single up the middle and the grounder took a fortuitous bounce for Houston as the ball hopped over the Army centerfielder's glove and rolled to wall. Junior Alexis Dunn came around to score from first base on the play and St. Pierre wound up on third. Hernandez delivered another shot to the wall that went down as a double before getting thrown out at third stretching for an extra base.
Houston totaled 11 hits in the game with St. Pierre (2-for-4), Hernandez (2-for-4) and Kendra Cullum (2-for-3) all recording multiple hits. Both of Hernandez's hits were doubles.
HOUSTON 13, SAM HOUSTON STATE 5 - BOX SCORE
In the nightcap of Saturday's action, Houston rolled over Sam Houston State 13-5 to improve to 3-1 on the year. The Cougars held a 1-0 lead after the first inning of play and never looked back as they held an 8-1 advantage after four innings of play.
Katie St. Pierre, who reached safely her first four times up to bat and scored on three of those occasions, , started the game with a single and then came around to score later in the inning with Kendra Cullum's sacrifice fly. The Cougars mounted seven runs on the board during their next scoring attack which came in the third frame.
Kayla Holland started the inning off with a single and with first base occupied, Sam Houston State elected to intentionally walk Haley Outon. Jamie Edwards moved the runners around with single to load the bases for Diedre Outon, who drew a walk to plate a run. Newcomers Kris Davila and Tiffany McKnight were up next and the duo combined to drive in three runs off their two singles.
Heading back to the top of the lineup, St. Pierre reached safely on a hit by the pitch and Selena Hernandez loaded the bases as she reached safely on an error.
The junior Haley Outon came up to the plate for the second time in the inning, and this time the bases were loaded and Sam Houston State had nowhere to stash the slugger. Outon delivered a two-RBI double to the right center gap making the score 7-1. She also had three walks on the day and went 2-for-2 at the plate.
The next scoring attack came in the fourth off Jaime Edwards solo-home run. It was the first home run since her walk off grand slam on April 14, 2012 and put UH ahead by seven, just one short of run-ruling the Bearkats.
Sam Houston State had a counter for each of Houston's jabs to keep the differential within sights but could never close the gap to a surmountable amount.
Julana Shrum took the win for the Red and White and evened her record to 1-1 on the year. The lefty dealt one strikeout in five innings of work allowing four earned runs before turning the ball over to Diedre Outon in the fifth. Outon closed the game out with three innings of hitless relief work facing the minimum number of batters.
Houston's second home run of the game came in the fifth inning when Selena Hernandez belted a blast out to right center bringing St. Pierre home with her.
Houston added a single run in the sixth and seventh inning to pull away and give the final 13-5 margin of victory. Four UH student-athletes (Hernandez, Kris Davila, Haley and Diedre Outon) collected two RBI during the balanced attack.
The Cougars conclude the Houston Hilton Plaza Classic on Sunday with games against Army (11:30 a.m.) and Stephen F. Austin (2 p.m.)