March 2, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS - The University of Houston suffered two shutouts and dropped both games on the first day of the Texas A&M Invitational. The Cougars (9-7) lost a 5-0 game to Texas State before falling 2-0 to No. 24 Nebraska.
"We did not do a good job today," said head coach Kyla Holas. "We hold ourselves to a high standard and we didn't get the job done today. We need to work harder and come out better prepared tomorrow and elevate our play."
Friday's games marked the first time Houston has been held scoreless this year.
Game 1 L, 0-5 Texas State (9-9) Box Score | PDF
Bailey Watts had an up-and-down start with four walks and three strike outs over the first three innings. Watts struggled to find the strike zone but at times was unhittable as she struck out the side in the second inning.
The sophomore was able to get out of jams as Texas State stranded seven runners over her start. Watts started the fourth and gave up a lead off walk before Houston turned to sophomore Diedre Outon in relief.
The Houston defense struggled after the pitching change, committing two errors that led to four runs in the top of the fourth giving the Bobcats a 4-0 advantage.
Starting center fielder Ashleigh Jones also had a tough inning as the junior tried to stop the bleeding by attempting to make diving catches on two dipping line drives, but was unable to make the plays, netting the Bobcats with doubles on both hits.
Jones was later caught stealing in the inning for the first time all year on a close call at second base as she reaching around the shortstop's tag but was called out.
The Cougars managed four hits with half of the total coming from senior Jennifer Klinkert who went 2-for-2. Jones and junior Reina Gaber were the other Cougars who contributed to the hit total.
Game 2 Nebraska L, 2-0 (10-7) Box Score | PDF
Ty'ara Law appeared in her first career start and delivered a fine performance as the freshman allowed only three hits and one run in three innings. In the fourth inning, Law threw her first walk of the game and allowed a bloop single before Holas turned to Outon to pitch relief for the second-straight game.
Nebraska would add an insurance run in the sixth with another solo home run and that would be all senior Ashley Haermann would need as the Husker hurler improved to 6-5 on the year.
The Cougars struggled to string together hits for the second straight game and as the contest progressed, Houston began working the count to reach base on walks. Houston took base on balls, with four coming in the last two innings.
Freshman Marissa Rodriguez became the seventh Houston freshman to make a start this season as she went 1-for-1 with a walk to record her first collegiate hit.
Houston threatened with the go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the seventh inning after senior Melissa Gregson and freshman Marissa Rodriguez reach base on the free passes but Houston was unable to score a run and fell to the No. 24 Cornhuskers 2-0.
The Cougars open Saturday's action with a 12:15 p.m. game against Texas State before playing the host Aggies immediately following that game.