Softball Slides Past Texas-Arlington
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.