March 7, 2014
FULLERTON, Calif. - Houston Softball posted a 5-2 win over No. 5/4 Michigan to earn the highest-ranked win in program history. Houston split the day with the 5-2 win while dropping a 7-5 loss to Long Beach State during the second day at the Judi Garman Classic.
“For us right now, since we were in such a funk, it’s more about the win than who it was against,” said head coach Kyla Holas on the victory over Michigan. “We need to start finding ourselves on the right side of those W’s. We have a couple more games tomorrow and hopefully we can build on this and take a couple more wins to balance some of the losses we’ve taken lately.”
After splitting the day, Houston is now 11-9 on the year with two more games at the Classic to follow on Saturday against Fresno State and No. 8/7 Arizona.
“It was really important to find our confidence. Sometimes those losses come in a row and we did a good job refocusing and getting that win (against Michigan).”
HOUSTON 5, MICHIGAN 2
The 5-2 win over No. 5/4 Michigan goes down as the program’s highest-ranked victory in program history eclipsing the previous best against No. 5/6 Oklahoma (W, 2-1) on March 6, 2004. Current Houston assistant coach Kristin Vesely was a member of the 2004 Sooner squad.
The Cougars seized momentum early in the game as they scored all five runs during the first three innings and never looked back at the defending Big 10 champions.
Michigan (14-6) held a brief 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first inning but it didn’t take long for UH to regain the advantage. Kendra Cullum was hit by a pitch for the 71st time in her career to reach first base. Then a two-out walk to Haley Outon set the table for Jaime Edwards who ripped a double to left center wall, bringing both runs around to score.
Southern California native Sydney Gerbracht (2-for-3, 1 R) started the second inning with a single and came around to score on Cullum’s two-out base hit later in the frame give starting pitcher Diedre Outon all the ammunition she needed to earn her fifth win (5-4) of the year.
Outon, along with her defense, stymied the Wolverines attack despite allowing 10 hits in the game. Twice Houston was able to use a double-play to their advantage and get out a jam as they played error-free softball.
Houston held onto their advantage with some nifty defensive work in the top of the fourth inning. A routine fielder’s choice ground ball turned into a frenzied 3-6-2-5-3-6 putout at the plate preventing a Wolverine runner from scoring from third base. Shortstop Selena Hernandez scooped up a slow rolling ground ball on the next batter and fired the ball over to first to get the runner and help Houston get out of the inning while saving another run from crossing the plate.
Edwards (2-for-4, 2 RBI) started the third inning with a single off the centerfield wall before being pitch ran for by Hayley Chamberlain. Houston strung together three singles to start that stanza as Kayla Holland and Gerbracht loaded the bases for UH. Michigan attempted to nab Chamberlain coming home and a throwing error allowed two runs to score for Houston’s final run total.
The win was Houston’s seventh in program history against a Top 10 opponent,
LONG BEACH STATE 7, HOUSTON 5
Houston’s comeback attempt fell short as the Cougars dropped a 7-5 decision to Long Beach State on the first game of Friday’s set of games at the Judi Garman Classic.
Houston trailed 5-0 after the first four innings of play but finally found their stroke in the bottom of the fourth inning. All eight of Houston’s hits came during those last four turns at bat including scoring all five of their runs.
Jaime Edwards hit her third home run of the year, a three-run blast, to cut the lead down to 7-5 in the seventh inning. It was the third of the year to give the Cougars a sign of life in the game.
Haley Outon put Houston on the scoreboard in the fifth inning with a sharp single up the middle to score pinch runner Hayley Chamberlain. The next two batters, Jaime Edwards and Diedre Outon, supplied singles of their own to score Haley and help cut the lead down to 5-2.
Diedre Outon (4-4) started in the circle for Houston but was chased out of the game during the second inning after allowing four runs (one earned) and three hits to begin the game. Junior Summer Groholski supplied 5.2 innings of relief allowing three runs in her appearance.
Houston stranded nine runners on base and left the bases loaded twice in the game.
Long Beach State (14-6) had five of their nine hits go for extra bases as they earned their fifth-straight win.
The Cougars conclude the Judi Garman Classic on Saturday with a pair of games against Fresno State (7:30 p.m.) and No. 8/7 Arizona (10 p.m.).