HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Softball team shutout UTSA, 7-0, in the finale of the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational on Sunday afternoon at Cougar Softball Stadium.
With the win, the Cougars improve to 8-4 overall, while the Roadrunners fall to 7-5. Houston, having completed the sweep of the tournament field, also improved to 4-0 at home.
In the circle, junior Presley Bell improved to 1-1 behind her first shutout of the season and third overall of her career. The native of Liberty, Texas, limited UTSA to just three hits, while walking none and recording two strikeouts.
The Cougars used two big innings to score all of their runs, plating two in the bottom of the third and five in the fifth.
Junior right fielder Maya Thomas led Houston and tied her career high with three hits in a 3-for-4 effort. Cougars Sarah Barker (2-for-2), Sarah Queen (2-for-3), Lindsey Stewart (2-for-3) and Tierrah Williams (2-for-3) all turned in multi-hit performances, respectively, while Arielle James, Barker and Williams each collected doubles.
3rd | After Stewart opened the bottom of the third with a bunt single, James advanced her to second with a sacrifice bunt. Thomas followed with a bunt single and a throwing error during the play allowed her to advance around to third and Stewart to score. Barker then quickly made it 2-0, plating Thomas with a sacrifice fly one batter later.
5th | Houston broke out for five runs in the bottom of the fifth. James led off with a double down the right-field line and was quickly followed by bunt singles from Thomas and Barker to load the bases. Queen delivered James with an RBI-single to right center, before a Kaylin Crumpton hit-by-pitch and Williams RBI-single and error on the play made it 6-0. The Cougars added one more run via a two-out, RBI-single from Stewart for the 7-0 final.
Presley Bell (W, 1-1) | 7.0 IP, CG, SHO, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
The Cougars will conclude their eight-game homestand with another host tournament, the Houston Red & White Showcase. Houston will welcome Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to Cougar Softball Stadium across March 2-4. Mississippi Valley State and Southern will also participate in the tournament but will not play the Cougars.
COUGAR SOFTBALL STADIUM UPGRADES
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.
JOIN DIAMOND CLUB
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.