March 8, 2006
ARLINGTON - Angel Shamblin went 3-for-5 at the plate with season-high 3 RBIs in game one and fired a complete game in the second game as the University of Houston softball team swept a doubleheader 6-4 and 4-1 from Texas-Arlington at Allan Saxe Field on Tuesday evening.
"I thought we had a good day at the ballpark even though we were a little slow out of the gate but that was due to the long bus ride," head coach Kyla Holas said. "I never felt there was a time where we were out of the game and weren't going to win. The girls really stayed focus and kept plugging away."
Houston (18-7) picked up its first road wins of the 2006 season as both teams capitalized on each other's fielding errors in the opening game sending the contest to the international tiebreaker in the eighth inning tied at 1-1.
The game stayed deadlock as the two teams traded blows until the 11th inning when Shamblin ripped a two-run single to put the Cougars 5-3. Shamblin advanced to third on the play as UTA attempted to throw out the trail runner Christa Raley at the plate. Laura Durham plated Shamblin on a sacrifice fly extending the advantage to 6-3.
The Mavericks cut the deficit to 6-4 on a Dee Jay Nelson RBI-single to open the home half of the 11th. Courtni Anderson smacked a double into the right centerfield gap but Katie Bush retrieved the ball hitting Jaci Gonzalez at the edge of the outfield grass. Gonzalez fired a strike to Elaina Nordstrom at the plate to gun down pinch-runner Brittany Stevens completing a perfect relay for the Cougars.
Candi Kloecker pitched a strong seven innings and returned to the game in the ninth to pick up her seventh win of the season. The Blinn College transfer struck out 10 batters allowing just five hits and three unearned runs.
"I was really proud of Candi to keep her head in the game even though we made the pitching change in the eighth (inning)," Holas said. "She's very strong mentally and gave us another strong performance in the circle."
Houston used the momentum and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning of game two behind a pair of triples from Haley Valis and Brooke Johnson. Valis has hit safely in four of her last five games and the RBI was the first of her Cougar career.
"I was extremely pleased that the girls we put in off the bench in the second game made the most of their opportunities to get out there," Holas said. "They were itching to get out on the field and they really set the pace."
The Mavericks trimmed the Cougar advantage to 3-1 and had the tying runs in scoring position with one out in the fourth. Shamblin dug deep to get out of the jam and retired nine of her final 10 batters to move to 6-4 on the season.
Houston concludes its nine-game roadtrip at No. 18 Baylor. The Cougars knocked off the Bears 4-2 earlier this season at the Marriott Houston Hobby Invitational back on February 17.
"Baylor is a different mindset that we'll have to get ready for, especially at their place," Holas said. "The team knows that there are some things they'll have to tighten up to continue to be successful on the road."
First pitch against the Bears has been moved to 4pm. Both games will have live stats available on UHCougars.com.
Fans who have purchased the CSTV All-Access package can listen live to all the action from Getterman Stadium as called by the Baylor Radio Network by clicking on the listen live link on UHCougars.com.
Houston improves to 7-3 all-time against Texas-Arlington and has won six of the last seven meetings against the Mavericks ... Today's sweep were the first true road wins for the Cougars this season, Houston was 3-0 on a neutral field at the Time Warner Texas Invitational earlier in the roadtrip ... The Cougars saw a left-handed starter in game one and are 2-1 against southpaws ... Head coach Kyla Holas used her 21st different batting order in the second game ... Houston is 6-1 against the Southland Conference and is now 7-5 against fellow Lone Star State schools ... The Cougars are now 3-1 in extra inning games and move to 8-1 in games under the lights ... The Houston defense has not picked up an error in seven of its last 10 games ... Katie Bush had her nine-game hitting streak snapped in game one ... Candi Kloecker reached double-digit strikeouts for the second time this season ... Jessica Valis picked up three stolen bases ... Valis now has 12 stolen bases and is now tied for the Conference USA lead in that department ... She smacked her team-leading 32nd hit in the third inning of game one ... It was only the seventh time this season that one of Valis' hits have reached the outfield ... With three walks, Valis moved into second place on the squad with 15 ... The Shiner, Texas native has also scored a run in 14 of her last 20 games ... Elaina Nordstrom has reached base in 21 of 25 games ... Brandi Clark is 11 hits shy of reaching the 100-hit plateau ... Angel Shamblin has hit safely in eight of her last 10 games ... Shamblin added her second career stolen base in the fourth inning of game one ... The Davie, Fla. native is hitting .462 against left-handed pitching this season ... Christa Raley picked up her second multi-hit game ... Haley Valis has hit safely in four of her last five games ... The triple for Valis in the second inning of game two were the first career RBI for freshman ... She is the 13th different Cougar to register a RBI on the season ... Brooke Johnson ripped her second triple ... Three of Johnson's four hits produce RBIs for the Cougars ... With a double in the six inning of game two, Jamie Adams picked up her 50th career hit.