LAKE CHARLES, La. -- The University of Houston Softball team defeated McNeese, 5-4, in nine innings on Tuesday night at Cowgirl Diamond.
With the win, the Cougars improve to 15-7 overall, while the Cowgirls, who are receiving votes in the latest USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll, fall to 16-9.
In the circle, junior Savannah Heebner improved 9-2. The native of Sedalia, Colo., tossed three scoreless innings of relief, retiring all nine batters she faced with three strikeouts. Sophomore Trystan Melancon went six innings in the start, allowing four runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three.
Senior shortstop Mariah Garcia highlighted the offense with a three-run home run. Sophomore second baseman Arielle James led the team with a 2-for-4 showing with a walk and run scored, while teammates Sarah Barker, Heebner and Kelli Montgomery all recorded base hits, respectively.
Junior catcher Brooke Vannoy finished with a career-high three hit by pitches and threw out two runners on the base path.
2nd | With two outs, Heebner singled to right center and Vannoy followed with a hit by pitch, before Garcia cleared the bases with a home run off the left-field scoreboard for a 3-0 lead.
5th | McNeese hit a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead.
6th| Houston evened the score with one run in the top of the sixth with a bases-loaded hit by pitch to Vannoy. Senior left fielder Kaylin Crumpton drew a walk to open the inning and was pinch ran for by senior De'Zha Scott. Sophomore third baseman Sarah Queen advanced Scott to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Montgomery singled through the right side of the infield to put runners at the corners. With two outs, Heebner drew a walk and Vannoy followed with a hit by pitch to even the score at 4-4.
9th | In the top of the ninth, James drew a walk and Barker laid down a bunt single. With two on and no outs. Crumpton advanced the pair on a sacrifice bunt before Queen plated James with a sacrifice fly for the 5-4 final.
Top Offensive Players:
Arielle James | 2-4, BB
Mariah Garcia | 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, R
Savannah Heebner | 1-3, BB, R
Kelli Montgomery | 1-3, BB
Sarah Barker | 1-3
Brooke Vannoy | 0-1, 3 HBP, RBI, R
Trystan Melancon | 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 3 K
Savannah Heebner (W, 9-2) | 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
The Cougars return to Cougar Softball Stadium to host Dartmouth and Eastern Kentucky in the Houston Round Robin across March 17-18.
COUGAR SOFTBALL STADIUM UPGRADES
Thanks to a record year for the Diamond Club, Houston Softball announced the addition of an LED, Daktronics video board (completed) and indoor practice facility as major upgrades to Cougar Softball Stadium.
According to Daktronics, the new outfield video board will be the fifth largest at an on-campus softball stadium in the country and the largest in the state of Texas. The board, which will sit just beyond the left-field wall, will stand 29-feet-3.1-inches tall and measure 24-feet-4.0-inches wide with 576 square feet of space (24-feet by 24-feet) for live video, instant replays, statistics and scoring information, graphics and animations, and sponsor messages. The display features a 13HD pixel layout for crisp, clear imagery for a great view from every seat at the stadium.
The indoor facility, which will replace the current batting cage down the right-field line, will measure 70-feet by 80-feet. The 5,600-square-foot space will feature five batting cages, measuring 60-feet long by 15-feet wide each, with retractable nets for the space to be used in a variety of ways. The facility will have a synthetic turf floor and will be temperature controlled.
In total, the two capital projects represent $1.2 million in upgrades.
The Houston Athletics Ticket Office is once again proud to offer the Shasta Pass for the 2017-18 season. For just $80, Cougar fans can purchase one Shasta Pass, which allows season-long general admission entrance to all Houston Volleyball, Soccer, Women's Basketball and Softball home games.
The Shasta Pass offers Houston fans a substantial saving as single-game tickets start at $5 for all four sports. To purchase a Shasta Pass, call 713-GO-COOGS or CLICK HERE.
JOIN DIAMOND CLUB
Fans can help support the Houston Softball program by joining the Diamond Club. To find out more information about the Diamond Club, visit UHCougars.com or call Cougar Pride at (713) 743-GoUH. For more information, CLICK HERE.