March 12, 2006
HOUSTON - Angel Shamblin allowed only one hit in 3.2 innings of relief and went 2-for-3 with a RBI to fuel the University of Houston softball team past East Carolina 6-1 in the rubber game of a weekend series Sunday at the Cougar Softball Stadium.
"We did a wonderful job defensively with a solid behind both pictures," head coach Kyla Holas said. "On offense, we stayed in our hitting plan facing (Keli) Harrell for the second time."
The Cougars (20-10, 2-1 C-USA) racked up eight hits and touched up C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year Keli Harrell for five earned runs in 5.1 innings.
Shamblin improved to 8-4 in the circle retiring nine of the final 10 batters faced, including striking out the side in the seventh inning. She allowed just one hit in 3.2 innings of relief.
Christa Raley crushed a 2-1 pitch over the left centerfield fence to give Houston an early 1-0 advantage in the third inning.
East Carolina (16-7, 1-2 C-USA) responded with a RBI-single in the fourth inning by Jessica Potter to even the score at 1-1. The Pirates tried to take the lead on the Potter single sending Jessica Johnson home from second base, but centerfield Katie Bush fired a bullet to Elaina Nordstrom at the plate to score all square at 1-1.
"That play from Katie was a real momentum changer," Holas said. "She has really stepped up for us in the outfield all season. Her arm and her accuracy is what keeps her very valuable to our team in centerfield."
The Cougars turned the defensive momentum into instant offense scoring in the next three frames. Shamblin smacked a RBI-double in the fourth giving Houston a 2-1 advantage, while Laura Durham and Raley used heads-up baserunning to put the Cougars ahead 4-1.
Durham capped the scoring and a three-run sixth inning by poking a two-run single up-the-middle for the final margin of 6-1.
Houston returns to the diamond next weekend taking on Tulsa with a doubleheader Saturday and a single-game Sunday. First pitch on both days is slated for 1pm. All games from the Donna J. Hardesty Sports Complex will have live stats on UHCougars.com
"We need to take our intensity out on the road," Shamblin said. "As long as we come out on the road and play our game, we should be able to come out on top. We get into trouble when we let the opponents set the tempo."