March 3, 2006
AUSTIN - A six-run first inning lifted the University of Houston softball team to an 8-0 win over Ole Miss Friday afternoon in the Time Warner Texas Invitational at McCombs Field.
"The offense did a wonderful job," assistant coach Beth McClendon said. "We got a majority of our bunts down. Everyone did their job at the plate and took care of business."
Houston (15-5) completed day one of the tournament 2-0 after dismissing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi earlier this afternoon.
The Cougars sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning and used a pair of two-out two-run singles by Laura Durham and Jaci Gonzalez to jump out to a 6-0 advantage. Christa Raley and Brandi Clark also added RBIs in the frame.
The single for Gonzalez was her 100th career hit. She became the ninth player in Cougar history to reach that feat.
Brooke Johnson platted two more runs in the fourth inning with a bases loaded single to stretch the Houston advantage to 8-0.
That would be more than enough run support for Angel Shamblin, who allowed only two hits in four innings of work. Shamblin struck out four batters and improved to 5-2 on the season.
Crystal Briscoe worked an inning of relief and struck out the side to secure the shutout. It was the third time this season that the Cougars have posted back-to-back shutouts.
Houston takes on No. 2 Texas tomorrow afternoon to conclude pool play at the Time Warner Texas Invitational. First pitch is slated for 1pm.
"Tomorrow is going to be a good test for us," McClendon said. "We know that we're going to have to play our best softball and battle with them on both sides on the field if we want to come out on top."
Fans can follow all of the action live from McCombs field by clicking on the live stats link on the homepage of UHCougars.com
This afternoon's meeting marked the first time that Houston and Ole Miss have met on the softball diamond ... The Cougars improve to 1-1 against the Southeastern Conference this season and move to 4-0 all-time on March 3 ... UH has won 11 of 13 games when scoring first and five of six games when scoring in the first inning ... The Cougars are also 5-1 on Fridays this season ... The Houston pitching staff has posted back-to-back shutouts for the third time this season, while the Cougar defense hasn't committed an error in five consecutive games ... With a single in the first inning, Jaci Gonzalez notched her 100th career hit ... She became the ninth player in Cougar history to reach that feat ... Gonzalez has reached base in eight of her 11 games in the batting order ... Brandi Clark's sacrifice fly in the first inning puts her eight RBIs shy of reaching 50 career RBIs ... Jessica Valis totaled her team-best 10th multi-hit game this season ... Valis has scored a run in eight of her last 10 games ... 21 of Valis' team-best 27 hits have been infield singles ... Katie Bush has registered a five-game hitting streak ... Elaina Nordstrom has reached base safely in 19 of 20 games ... She has also hit safely in 16 of 20 contests ... Laura Durham added her fifth multi-hit and her fourth multi-RBI game of the season ... Two of the three hits for Brooke Johnson have produced runs ... Christa Raley scored two runs for the fourth time this season ... She has drawn a walk in 13 of her last 15 games ... With two walks, Laurie Wagner is the fourth Cougar to draw double-digit walks ... Crystal Briscoe made her team-leading sixth appearance in relief ... Briscoe finished a game by striking out the side for the second time this season ... Briscoe did that earlier this season against Northwestern State (Feb. 18).