Seventh-Inning Rally Propels Cougars To Win
Feb. 18, 2004
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - With former President George Bush in attendance, the University of Houston rallied behind a two-run home run by junior Kim Nesloney in the seventh inning, and senior pitcher Jenny Johnson came in and worked a perfect frame, as the Cougars defeated #15 Texas A&M, 6-5, at Aggie Softball Field. The win was the 100th career victory for Houston coach Kyla Holas, the only coach in the four-year history of the UH softball program.
Houston improved to 7-3 on the year and was the first win over a ranked opponent since defeating #19 South Florida on May 3, 2003. The Cougars rallied twice from 4-1 and 5-2 deficits. The Cougars were set to play the second of the day-night doubleheader at the time of this writing.
Even though she was staked to a quick 1-0 lead on an RBI double by sophomore Brandi Clark, senior pitcher Jamie Falco failed to get out of the first inning and left the bases loaded with no outs. Aggie leadoff hitter Sharonda McDonald reached on an infield single, stole second and then reached third on an outfield error by UH's Lindsay Durham which allowed Adrian Gregory to reach second. The next batter, A&M leftfielder Jana James, crushed a Falco fastball for a three-run home run.
The Aggies kept their big inning alive when Falco allowed a single, a walk and a hit batsman to load the bases, sending the senior hurler to the bench early. After a sacrifice fly to plate the fourth run, sophomore Crystal Briscoe escaped further damage by getting two consecutive outs.
Houston cut into the Aggie lead in their half of the third, thanks in part to a great hustle play by sophomore Jaci Gonzalez. With one out Gonzalez reached first after being plunked on the right elbow by Aggie pitcher Lindsay Wilhelmson, later advancing to second on a wild pitch. One out later Clark beat out a dribbler in front of home plate, and Gonzalez never stopped running, utilizing a perfect slide to evade the tag of A&M catcher Kristen Gunter to score UH run number two.
Texas A&M increased its lead in the third inning when right fielder Sherah Atkins sent a solo shot to dead center with one out.
In the fifth the Cougars scratched across a run, slicing the Aggie lead to 5-3. Junior Michelle Keith led off the inning with a sharp single up the middle, and she reached third on a sacrifice by Durham, who reached when Aggie third baseman Morgan Hebert threw away Durham's bunt. With Gonzalez batting the Cougars executed a steal of home by Keith, who knocked the ball out of Gunter's glove.
Houston cut into the A&M lead again in the sixth. Junior Kristen Glowacz led off the frame with a single and then stole second. With two outs junior Jeanie Davis ripped a ball down the left-field line that kicked up chalk and headed into the corner. Glowacz easily scored, and Davis had her first RBI of the 2004 season.