March 9, 2014
FULLERTON, Calif. - The Houston Cougars took a 4-2 win over Fresno State before falling 6-5 to No. 7 Arizona in extra innings at its final day of the Judi Garman Classic hosted by Cal State Fullerton.
With the results of the day, Houston is now 12-10 on the year and went 2-3 during the Judi Garman Classic. The Cougars have posted a 12-9 tournament record this season and will next play in a tournament setting as they host the American Championships from May 8-10 at Cougar Softball Stadium. For now, Houston will take an 11-day break from games and return to the diamond on March 19 facing Texas in Austin.
HOUSTON 4, FRESNO STATE 2 - BOX SCORE
Houston won the first game on Saturday dispatching Fresno State 4-2 at the Judi Garman Classic in a game with seven combined errors.
The Cougars capitalized on the next Bulldogs mistakes during the third inning as Fresno State made two errors in the frame. Selena Hernandez reached first on an error and was moved over to second base on Kendra Cullum's 72nd career hit by a pitch, A single by Tiffani McKnight loaded the bases and Haley Outon drew a walk to score Hernandez from third. Kayla Holland drew another bases-loaded walk and a fielder's choice off the bat of Sydney Gerbracht scored the third run of the inning give Houston a 4-0 lead.
Julana Shrum (3-3) started at pitcher for Houston lasting 4.1 innings and allowing both runs in the game. Houston turned to Diedre Outon to get her second save of the season as she finished the game throwing three strikeouts.
Fresno State scored two runs in the fifth to chase Shrum out of the contest before Diedre could stop the scoring for UH.
The Cougars box score line was all fours as they scored four runs off four hits while committing three errors. Fresno State (10-8) outhit UH 8-4 while committing three errors of their own that led to all four runs. The four errors by Houston was a season-high.
Tiffani McKnight (2-for-2, 1 R, 1 HBP) supplied half of Houston's four hits and was the lone Cougar to have multiple hits in the game as she reached safely on all three at bats.
No. 7 ARIZONA 6, HOUSTON 5 - BOX SCORE
Facing their fifth top-10 opponent in the last nine days, Houston fell 6-5 in nine innings to the No. 7 Wildcats (22-3) in the first extra-inning game of the season.
The Cougars held the lead for fifth and sixth inning but Arizona was able to tie the game in the seventh to send the game to extras and into an international tie-breaker situation. The Wildcats scored a single run in each of the last five innings and added the winning run in the ninth.
The scoring action started in the third inning as Arizona added their first run in the top of the inning followed by Houston's answer in the bottom half of the frame. Katie St. Pierre, who scored in back-to-back at bats, led off with a walk and moved over to second on Selena Hernandez's sacrifice bunt. A two-out single by Tiffani McKnight (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI) knotted the game at 1-1.
As Arizona plated single runs in the last five innings, Houston used a four-run outburst in the fifth to supply the bulk of their damage.
St. Pierre started the rally once again as she singled to third base to lead off the fifth. Hernandez and McKnight drew walks sandwiching a sacrifice bunt by Kendra Cullum in between the free passes. A pair of wild pitches and a Jaime Edwards' sacrifice fly, that missed being a home run by a few feet, brought three Cougars across the plate. Kayla Holland (2-for-3, 1 RBI) popped a single over the pitcher's head allowing Haley Outon to score from third giving Houston their fourth run of the inning.
Sophomore Julana Shrum started for Houston and lasted 4.1 innings before once again Houston turned to veteran Diedre Outon (5-5) to finish the game off. Outon threw 4.2 innings and both pitchers allowed three runs.
Arizona took the win on back-to-back fly outs that moved the runner from second base to third and finally home on the sacrifice fly. Houston went down in order in the bottom half of the inning and dropped to 12-10 on the year.
Houston faces Texas on March 19 in Austin, Texas before starting conference the following weekend as the Cougars host Temple from March 22-23.