Softball Storms Into Time Warner Texas Invitational Championship Game
March 4, 2006
AUSTIN - Elaina Nordstrom smacked a two-run walk-off single to right centerfield on a 2-0 pitch as the University of Houston softball team picked up a 4-3 comeback victory in nine innings over Ole Miss in bracket play Saturday at the Time Warner Texas Invitational at McCombs Field.
"We've been taught to go after the first strike after getting ahead in the count," Nordstrom said. "We may not have played our best softball, but what counts is that we were able to find a way to win."
"Elaina did a fabulous job in a pressure situation," head coach Kyla Holas said. "It's huge when a freshman can step up in a tight scenario against a regional opponent."
The Cougars (16-6) advanced to the championship game and will face the winner of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and No. 2 Texas Sunday at 12:30pm.
Angel Shamblin opened the ninth on second base due to the international tiebreaker rule. Shamblin moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Jaci Gonzalez. Jessica Valis reached on a bunt-double that hit in front of the pitcher and spun back to the catcher. Katie Bush loaded the bases reaching on an infield single.
That set the stage for Nordstrom, whose game-winning single capped a career-best 3-for-4 outing for Nordstrom with a career-high 3 RBIs
"That's our big thing right now about how important it is to take advantage of opportunities and manufacture runs," Holas said. "Doing the little things is right is what wins you close games."
Laura Durham grounded out to second and was safe after the throw pulled the Rebel first basemen off the bag. Raley alertly broke for home scoring the game's first run.
The Rebels tied the score at 2-2 with a two-run home run by Lauren Rowe in the sixth inning. The homer snapped Candi Kloecker's consecutive innings streak without allowing an earned run at 40.1 innings.
Ole Miss grabbed a 3-2 advantage in the ninth on a RBI-single by Brittany Warner that scored Lisa Conchos who started the frame on second base due to the international tiebreaker rule.
Houston will have a rematch with No. 2 Texas Sunday. First pitch is slated for approximately 12:30pm.
"We are really excited about getting a chance to make some adjustments and get another chance against Texas," Holas said. "That's only going to make us better in the end."
Fans can follow all the action from McCombs Field by clicking on the live stats link on the homepage of UHCougars.com
"We did a better job of making contact against Cat (Osterman) later in the game," Nordstrom said. "We're ready and fired up about getting a second chance."