March 2, 2013
STILLWATER, Okla. - The University of Houston softball team posted a pair of wins over Oklahoma State at Cowgirl Stadium on Saturday. With the wins, Houston improved to 10-6 on the year and 6-2 all-time against Oklahoma State (7-9).
Playing on the road marking their opponents 2013 home opener for the second straight day, UH earned a sweep to end a two-game losing skid with losses to UTSA at home and at No. 1 Oklahoma on Friday.
"I liked the team that we brought today," said head coach Kyla Holas. "This was the team we thought we would have this year. We were steady, consistent, hit within our game plan, played solid defensively and had good-enough pithing. We still need some work to do with our pitching staff but we were good enough to bear down and finish ball games."
Houston won the opening game 4-1 and took the second game with a 4-3 score.
HOUSTON 4, OKLAHOMA STATE 1
The game was a tight contest heading into the sixth inning with UH holding a 1-0 advantage. Houston used a two-out rally in the top of the frame to allow starting pitcher Summer Groholski some breathing room with a three-run outburst. The rally started by Kayla Holland hitting her second double of the game and she came around to score on freshman Katie St. Pierre's single down the left field line. Holly Anderson homered as the next batter for her first long ball of the year and gave UH the final margin, 4-0.
Groholski, getting the start on her 20th birthday, allowed only one run to cross home and that was in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs. The Grapeland (Texas) native threw a complete game with four strikeouts to improve to 4-2 on the year.
Houston jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as leadoff batter Anderson reached base safely drawing a walk. Anderson moved onto second off a sacrifice bunt by Kendra Cullum and took third courtesy of Reina Gaber's single to left field. Gaber stole second forcing an errant throw into centerfield that allowed Anderson to walk into home and gave UH the 1-0 lead.
The UH defense turned in a gem of a double play in the sixth inning to hold the Cowgirls at bay as a grounder rolled to third baseman Anderson who started a 5-4-2 double play to get outs at second and home to end the inning.
Houston had a hit in each inning save the last for an eight-hit performance with half going for extra bases and improved to 9-6 on the year.
HOUSTON 4, OKLAHOMA STATE 1
Haley Outon blasted a two-run homer after Reina Gaber cleared the bases with a two-run double and Houston needed only three hits to dispatch the Oklahoma State Cowgirls 4-0 in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Houston erupted for four runs in the third inning to take control of the game with all four RBI coming from their No. 3 and 4 hitters, Gaber and Outon. A string of six Houston hitters all reached base but it wasn't until there were two outs on the board that the runs were able to find their way home.
Kendra Cullum reached on a fielder's choice and then stole second base when the infield had stopped paying attention to her at first. The heads-up-play proved huge as Gaber stepped up to the plate and hit her double to score Cullum and Katie St. Pierre, who had reached via a single. Outon's home run sent Gaber home for her team-leading fourth homerun and 13th RBI.
OSU made things interesting with a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to cut the UH lead to a single run. OSU's leadoff batter drew a walk before a hit by pitch put the tying run on deck. The OSU clean up hitter, Samantha Chrisman, then drove the ball over the left center fence for the second OSU hit of the ballgame to make the score 4-3.
Houston's Bailey Watts (5-2) was able to regain her form and throw her fourth and final strikeout of the game to get out of the sixth. The redshirt junior improved to 5-2 to reclaim the team lead in wins.
Houston returns to Norman with a game against the No. 1 Sooners on Sunday at noon.