Feb. 23, 2014
HOUSTON - Senior Haley Outon set the school record for home runs in a career hitting her 48th to help Houston to a 12-4 run-rule win over Nicholls on Sunday during the final game of the Houston Hilton Plaza Invite.
“Coach Vesely told me ‘Good job’ when I got to the dugout and I thought it was because I hit to the right side,” said Haley. “I didn’t even realize I set the record until she told me to go and do one wave (to the fans) and that’s when I realized what I had done.”
The Cougars improved to 9-2 on the year and posted a 4-1 weekend tournament record as they outscored their opponents 51-12. Nicholls fell to 5-11 on the season.
“It was a productive weekend for wins but also showed us we need to remain sharp,” said head coach Kyla Holas. “There are some mistakes that we need to shore up. Some of the things we need to do is behind-the-scenes, putting in some extra work if want to be the team we’re capable of becoming.”
All four of Nicholls runs were earned making it seven straight unearned runs Houston has surrendered.
“The highlight of the weekend has to be Haley’s record. I’m so proud and happy she set that and glad it’s out of the way now for her to focus on the rest of the season.”
Outon’s fifth home run of the year and record-setting blast came during the Cougars nine-run, two-out rally in the fourth inning. The senior slugger also owns the single-season home run record as she hit 22 in 2012.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when the two teams lit up the scoreboard to the tune of 13 runs, nine coming for UH. Outon was the first and last to score during the stanza taking a walk her first time at bat before her record breaking bomb.
Following Haley’s first of two walks on the day (1-for-2, 2 R, 3 RBI), first baseman Jaime Edwards singled to move Haley into scoring position before Kendra Cullum’s triple scored the pair of UH runners. Edwards enjoyed a 3-for-4 performance at the plate driving in a run and scoring once.
Houston scored all of the runs on the two-out rally and scored in bunches as all runs came across in a pair or more.
Sydney Gerbracht hit her second home run of the year following Cullum’s triple to make it 4-0 and the outburst continued when Kayla Holland (2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI) hit a two-RBI single. Haley’s three-run homer gave UH the 9-0 advantage and it was more than enough for Houston to keep their 5-0 perfect mark against Nicholls State in tact.
Holland was on board along with Selena Hernandez (3-for-4, 2 R) for Outon’s historic home run.
Nicholls State answered with four unearned runs in the next inning as a throwing error by the UH defense allowed Nicholls extra opportunities at bat. Diedre Outon earned the win to improve to 4-1 on the year and was chased out of the game in the fourth turning the ball over to Summer Groholski. Groholski threw 1.1 inning of hitless ball to back up Diedre.
Another two-out rally in the fifth inning put the game away for Houston’s third run-rule win of the weekend and second over the Colonels. Sophomore Katie St. Pierre reached on an error and came around to home on Holland’s second single of the game. Selena Hernadnez also took home on the play as a throwing error allowed her to score from first after reaching on a single. Edwards delivered her third single of the game to cap the Cougars run total at 12.
Houston hosts No. 12/16 Texas A&M on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m.