Feb. 23, 2006
HOUSTON - Candi Kloecker fired her third complete game shutout of the season lifting the University of Houston softball team to a 4-0 victory over No. 25 BYU Thursday to open the Crowne Plaza Classic at the Cougar Softball Stadium.
The Cougars (11-3) got back on the winning track after dropping a doubleheader to No. 8 Texas A&M last night riding the arm of Kloecker, who allowed only three hits and stuck out four batters en route to her fifth victory of the season
"Our team did a wonderful job of putting last night's games behind them," head coach Kyla Holas said. "They're a confident bunch and I'm proud of the way they bounced back tonight. They know what they are capable of and showed it out there on the field tonight."
Kloecker kept BYU (8-3) guessing all evening changing her speeds and gave up only four fly ball outs. It was also the second ranked opponent that the Blinn College transfer has defeated in the circle this season.
"I knew coming in that BYU was a very aggressive and powerful team at the plate," Kloecker said. "Those are the types of teams that I like to face the most. Getting ahead is the count is most important because that allows me to control the at-bat and throw the pitch that I want to throw to the batter."
Angel Shamblin platted the first run on a fielder's choice, while Brandi Clark added a RBI-single pushed the Cougar advantage to 2-0. With runners on second and third, Laurie Wagner, who made an error in game one last night against Texas A&M, cleared the bases cranking a two-run double down the left field line extending the UH lead to 4-0.
"My teammates really encouraged me after the error against Texas A&M last night," Wagner said. "It was good to get back out there on the field and not have any time to think about it. You just have to step back out there and do your thing again. That's how the game is played."
That would be all the support that Kloecker needed giving up only one BYU hit the rest of the way.
Houston continues action in the Crowne Plaza Classic Friday against Texas State and Rhode Island. First pitch is slated for approximately 5pm against the Bobcats with the game against Rhode Island to follow.
"This is another big weekend ahead of us," Kloecker said. "Just like last weekend, we have to play our game like we know we can and take care of business on the field."
The Cougars finish the tournament Saturday evening with games scheduled against Iowa State and Wichita State. UH students get into to tournament action for free all weekend by showing their Cougar 1 Card at the gate.
"There is some tough competition in there for us in every game this weekend so we'll have to stay focused and take it one out at a time," Holas said. "Our goal is to keep playing good ball and come away with another undefeated weekend."
Game Notes Houston has won two of three all-time meetings against BYU ... This is the first game that UH has played on Thursday this season ... The Cougars have now played games on five of seven days of the week this season ... Houston has not yet to play on Monday or Tuesday ... The Cougars improve to 11-1 at home this season ... Houston is now 4-0 this season when wearing red jerseys and grey pants ... The Cougars have won seven of eight games when scoring first and outhitting its opponents ... UH is 10-0 when taking a lead into the seventh inning ... BYU is the third ranked opponent that UH has beaten at the Cougar Softball Stadium ... Head coach Kyla Holas is now three wins shy of reaching 175 career victories ... Laurie Wagner made her first start at designated player ... She knocked her third double of the season and added RBIs six and seven ... She also tallied her fifth multi-hit game ... After making her first start in right field in game two at No. 8 Texas A&M yesterday, Brandi Clark made her home debut ... She went 1-for-3 with a RBI-single and a run scored ... Clark is the 12th different Cougar to drive home a run on the season and is now nine RBIs and 16 hits shy of reaching the 100-mark in both categories ... Brooke Johnson made her second consecutive start in left field ... Candi Kloecker fired her third complete game shutout on the season ... The Blinn College transfer paces the Cougar pitching staff with five wins this season .. Her ERA dropped from 0.44 to 0.36 ... Jessica Valis picked up her sixth and seven stolen bases of the seasons ... Valis knocked only her fourth hit on the season to the outfield in the third inning ... The Shiner, Texas native has scored a run in eight of her last nine games ... Elaina Nordstrom is the only Cougar to reach base safely in all 14 games this season ... The LaPalma, Calif. product has walked four times in her last two games ... Nordstrom had her RBI streak snapped at eight consecutive games ... Christa Raley drew her team-leading 10th walk in the first inning ... She has drawn a walk in eight of her last nine games ... With a single in the sixth inning, Jaci Gonzalez is now two hits away from becoming the ninth player in Cougar history to reach 100 career hits ... Gonzalez has hit safely in five of seven games when in the batting lineup.