March 11, 2006
HOUSTON - Laurie Wagner went 2-for-3 driving home a career-best 3 RBIs and scoring two runs as the University of Houston softball team rebounded for an 8-3 victory in game two of a doubleheader Saturday at the Cougar Softball Stadium.
"Laurie has really started to come back around with her swing," head coach Kyla Holas said. "She's started to go through the ball a lot more and getting on her pitches."
"It was tough when I was slumping over the last couple of weeks," Wagner said. "I started to come out of it at Baylor and I decided to use conference play as a motivator to really step up my play."
Angel Shamblin fired a complete game totaling eight strikeouts allowing four hits and three runs en route to her seventh win of the season. Shamblin also went 3-for-3 at the plate and scored a run. The three hits tie a season-high.
Wagner opened the scoring in the second inning cranking a 1-0 pitch into the palm trees in left field giving Houston a 1-0 advantage.
"The ball was a little high so I really didn't know if I should have swung at it looking back," Wagner said. "I committed to the pitch swinging as hard as I could and it just happened to leave the park."
The Pirates evened the score at 1-1 on a RBI-single in the third inning by Vanessa Moreno.
Houston snatched a 3-1 advantage as Wagner knocked a two-run single past a diving Ashley Quick at third base that scored Angel Shamblin and Jessica Valis.
The Cougars pushed the lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning on a RBI-groundout by Brandi Clark. The Missouri City, Texas native is now 5 RBIs shy of reaching 50 for her career.
East Carolina charged back slicing the deficit to 4-3 with a two-out two-run single by Krista Jessup in the fifth inning.
Houston tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings for the final margin of 8-3.
Haley Valis ripped a RBI-double and scored all the way from second on a wild pitch in the fifth inning, while Angel Shamblin crossed the plate on another wild pitch and Katie Bush drove in a run on a ground ball during the following frame.
Houston and East Carolina will square off Sunday at 1pm in the rubber game of the weekend series.
"I expect us to bring the same defensive intensity we had in the second game," Holas said. "We need to pitch the way we are capable of and the offense needs to continue to produce multiple runs in scoring situations."
"After losing that first game, we wanted to bounce back and get two out of three," Wagner said. "We're going to show up with our `A' game and leave it all out on the field."
Game Notes The all-time series between the two schools is even at 6-6 ... The Cougars are 14-2 when outhitting its opposition and scoring first this season ... Head coach Kyla Holas used her 25th different batting lineup in 29 games ... Haley Valis made her debut in the No. 5 slot ... Valis has hit safely in six of her last eight appearances and picked up her first career RBI at home with a RBI-double in the fifth inning ... Angel Shamblin extended her hitting streak to a team-best eight games and matched her career-best registering three hits on the afternoon ... The Davie, Fla. native is 7-for-14 this season and is hitting .500 against left-handed pitching and picked up her team-leading seventh double on the season ... Two of her three hits came against southpaw Stephanie Hayes ... She tied Candi Kloecker for the staff-lead with seven wins in the circle ... Laurie Wagner added her first multi-hit game since the opening game of the Crowne Plaza Classic against No. 25 BYU back on February 23 ... In the process, Wagner picked up her a career-high 3 RBIs ... She knocked her first career home run in the second inning ... 10 of the 13 home runs for the Cougars have been solo homers ... Houston has won nine of 12 games this season when hitting a long ball ...Brandi Clark RBI-groundout in the fourth inning put the Missouri City, Texas native five RBIs away from reaching 50 for her career ... Elaina Nordstrom has reached base in 25 of 29 games reaching on a single in the sixth inning ... Jessica Valis has scored a run 16 of her last 24 games ... Valis has picked up a walk in four of her last six games.