Late Hits, Strong Pitching Fuel Houston to Two Wins on Saturday

Feb. 24, 2018

Final Stats

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HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Softball team picked up a pair of wins in the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational, walking it off 2-1 in eight innings against Syracuse, before shutting out UNLV, 2-0, on Saturday night at Cougar Softball Stadium.

With the wins, the Cougars improve to 7-4 overall, while the Orange and Rebels fall to 7-5 and 11-4, respectively. The victory over UNLV marked the 600th in program history.

Against Syracuse, freshman Caela Kincade plated the game-winning run with a walk-off double down the right field line in the bottom of the eighth.

In the nightcap, senior left fielder Kaylin Crumpton and senior shortstop Mariah Garcia each hit solo home runs in the bottom of the sixth to provide all the offense needed in the shutout.

In the circle, sophomore Trystan Melancon (3-2) and junior Savannah Heebner (4-1) each picked up wins behind complete-game efforts. Facing Syracuse, Melancon issued just one run on five hits and two walks, while tying her career high with eight strikeouts. Meanwhile, Heebner limited UNLV to four hits, while striking out five and walking none in her second-consecutive shutout in as many days and the 11th overall of her career.

8th | With the international tiebreaker in effect, the Orange plated one run in the top of the eighth to break up the stalemate. In the bottom frame, Garcia was placed on second, and junior catcher Brooke Vannoy drew a leadoff walk. Two batters later, sophomore second baseman Arielle James delivered Garcia with a double into the right-center gap, before Kincade followed with a pinch-hit double down the right-field line to plate Vannoy and walk it off.

Top Offensive Players:
Caela Kincade | 1-1, 2B, RBI
Arielle James | 3-4, 2B, RBI

Pitching Breakdown:
Trystan Melancon (W, 3-2) | 8.0 IP, CG, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

6th | With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Crumpton ended the scoreless affair with a solo home run over the left-center wall, her first of the season. Two batters later, Garcia provided a long-ball of her own to dead center, her team-leading third of the season, to make it a 2-0 ballgame.

Top Offensive Players:
Kaylin Crumpton | 1-2, HR, RBI, R, HBP
Mariah Garcia | 1-3, HR, RBI, R

Pitching Breakdown:
Savannah Heebner (W, 4-1) | 7.0 IP, CG, SHO, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K

The Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational concludes with three games on Sunday, and the Cougars are set to face UTSA in the tournament finale at 2 p.m.

Sunday's Schedule:
• 9 a.m. | Syracuse vs. Yale
• 11:30 a.m. | UNLV vs. UTSA
2 p.m. | UTSA at Houston
Tournament Central

Thanks to a record year for the Diamond Club, Houston Softball announced the addition of an LED, Daktronics video board (completed) and indoor practice facility as major upgrades to Cougar Softball Stadium.

According to Daktronics, the new outfield video board will be the fifth largest at an on-campus softball stadium in the country and the largest in the state of Texas. The board, which will sit just beyond the left-field wall, will stand 29-feet-3.1-inches tall and measure 24-feet-4.0-inches wide with 576 square feet of space (24-feet by 24-feet) for live video, instant replays, statistics and scoring information, graphics and animations, and sponsor messages. The display features a 13HD pixel layout for crisp, clear imagery for a great view from every seat at the stadium.

The indoor facility, which will replace the current batting cage down the right-field line, will measure 70-feet by 80-feet. The 5,600-square-foot space will feature five batting cages, measuring 60-feet long by 15-feet wide each, with retractable nets for the space to be used in a variety of ways. The facility will have a synthetic turf floor and will be temperature controlled.

In total, the two capital projects represent $1.2 million in upgrades.

The Houston Athletics Ticket Office is once again proud to offer the Shasta Pass for the 2017-18 season. For just $80, Cougar fans can purchase one Shasta Pass, which allows season-long general admission entrance to all Houston Volleyball, Soccer, Women's Basketball and Softball home games.

The Shasta Pass offers Houston fans a substantial saving as single-game tickets start at $5 for all four sports. To purchase a Shasta Pass, call 713-GO-COOGS or CLICK HERE.

Follow Houston Softball on Twitter and Instagram at UHCougarSB, and "Like" UHCougarSB on Facebook.

Fans can help support the Houston Softball program by joining the Diamond Club. To find out more information about the Diamond Club, visit UHCougars.com or call Cougar Pride at (713) 743-GoUH. For more information, CLICK HERE.



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