Watts Throws No-Hitter For Houston Softball
Feb. 18, 2012
Houston, Texas - Sophomore Bailey Watts was masterful in a pair of pitching efforts on Saturday throwing her second career no-hitter in a five-inning victory against Louisiana Monroe (W, 9-0), before nearly leading No. 17 Houston to a come-from-behind rally over a talented McNeese State club in the nightcap (L, 6-5) of the 2012 Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational at Cougar Softball Stadium.
Watts struck out six ULM batters in the opener and Houston lit up the scoreboard in each frame en route to the 9-0 win. The deciding inning came in the second when the Cougars plated five runs, all with two outs, to break open a 2-0 contest. Leadoff hitter Ashleigh Jones opened the barrage with a double and Reina Gaber drove her home with a single. After a walk, a single and an error made it 4-0 Houston, Haley Outon lauched a deep three-run home run to left center to make the Houston advantage 7-0.
The Cougars added runs in the third and fourth to make the final margin 9-0 and Watts made the lead stick recording her first no-hitter since a 5-0 shutout of Memphis in 2011.
In the second game, Houston found itself in a quick 5-0 hole to a McNeese State club that was coming off a victory against national power Arizona State last weekend. The Cowgirls scored three runs in the first off starter Diedre Outon and two more off Summer Groholski in the second. Head Coach Kyla Holas called on her ace in the second inning and Watts helped Houston escape a bases-loaded jam to be down just 5-0.
Houston rallied to tie the game at 5-5 with four runs in the third inning and a run in the fifth. Gaber drove home two runs with a single and Haley Outon ripped a two-out double to the gap to score two more. Houston nearly plated another run on the play, but Jennifer Klinkert was thrown out on a close play at the plate.
Houston tied the game in the fifth on a Klinkert double. McNeese State's left fielder misplayed the ball and allowed Holly Anderson to score from first on the hit.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when McNeese delivered the deciding blow, a walk-off home run to center by Dani Price. The solo shot helped McNeese State improve to 5-4 and earn its second win over a ranked foe.
Watts took the unfortunate loss despite a strong effort. She allowed just one run in 5.1 innings of work, scattering three hits.
Houston returns to action on Sunday against ULM at 1 p.m. The Cougars and Cowgirls meet once again at 3 p.m.