March 14, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team came through with a 3-1 win over Purdue at the Seventh Annual Striking Out Breast Cancer Game Thursday evening. Holly Anderson's two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning would lift Houston (14-7, 3-0) to their fourth-straight win.
It was a special day for the team at the annual `Pink Game' and Anderson in particular. Her grandmother, a breast cancer survivor, was on hand to throw out the first pitch. The senior went 2-for-4 with two RBI, a run, stolen base and was involved in every scoring play in the game.
"That kid has been the heartbeat of our team for a very long time," said head coach Kyla Holas. "She is such a leader in almost every aspect and I'm glad she's doing the things she needs to do to be successful."
Leading off the game, Anderson singled up the middle on the first pitch and stole second base to put herself into scoring position. Reina Gaber hit a chopper that would plate Anderson and give Houston the quick lead.
Houston was cruising with a 1-0 win behind Bailey Watts (7-2) as the junior surrendered only two hits through the first five innings. Watts threw three strikeouts and allowed one unearned run that occurred in the sixth when Anderson suffered an error on a failed pick off attempt from catcher Haley Outon. Anderson quickly recovered in the inning with a great defensive play to throw out the next runner at home and maintain an even score.
She received further redemption when she came up to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded, hitting a two-run single that gave Houston the win.
"We did a great job of working as a team," said Holly Anderson. "We got down but we bounced back as soon as it happened. I definitely think that we never let them take the momentum from us. We did a great job of staying positive and staying together to get that run back."
Kayla Holland hit a double off the top of the left field wall that bounced back onto the field giving Houston the momentum back in front of the 915 fans. Jennifer Hooker used a pitch hit appearance to draw a walk and all runners were safe on Katie St. Pierre's fielder's choice to load the bases for Anderson.
Houston won their fourth straight game with UCF (15-12, 0-3) coming to town this weekend for a three-game series.
"I'm happy with where we're playing right now," said Holas. "We're all working hard in practice, making adjustments that need to be made. Errors and hits off missed pitches are going to happen, that's just softball, but the mentality and input is what we've been asking for all year and now the wins are starting to show that."
All proceeds from the live auction, umpires' game checks and individual donations benefit the Susan G. Komen For the Cure. A check will be presented to the charity later this season.
"I have to give so much thanks for the tremendous atmosphere tonight, everything about today was great," said Holas. "Our marketing department and Tory (Teykl) have done a tremendous job with this event, the grounds crew did an amazing job on the field. The families were crucial, the community comes up big every year, our team really enjoys this - just everyone has helped make this a special event. Everyone has came up to me and told me what a great time they had. I'm proud being a part of an event like this and what it does to help."
Houston hosts UCF for a three-game series this weekend with doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday's first pitch set for noon. Houston-area legend Roger Clemens will throw out the first pitch on Saturday's first game.