Cougars Salvage Split Behind Kennimer's Complete Game
March 16, 2004
ARLINGTON, Texas - Needing a win to snap a season-long three-game losing streak, the University of Houston turned to freshman pitcher Carla Kennimer and the Porter native responded by throwing a complete game, four-hitter in leading the Cougars past Texas-Arlington, 4-2, in game two of a doubleheader. Houston fell to the Lady Mavs, 3-2, in the opener.
With the win the Cougars improve to 24-11, while UTA falls to 9-15-1.
The third inning in game two gave Houston its first lead in the last four games. Kim Nesloney led off with a seeing-eye single up the middle and moved up to second on a wild pitch by UTA's Lauren Hebert. When Jamie Adams laid down a sacrifice bunt, Lady Mav catcher Beverly Rowan tried to get Nesloney at third and was unsuccessful, and the quick-thinking Adams scooted to second with no one covering.
The hot-hitting Kristen Glowacz ripped a double off the left-field fence, scoring both Nesloney and Adams easily. Jenilee Skender attempted to sacrifice Glowacz to third, but no one was covering first and Skender reached on the bunt single and Glowacz was at third. Arelis Ferreris grounded out to first to score Glowacz, giving Houston a 3-1 lead.
Kennimer escaped a two-on, no-out situation in the fourth inning. UTA's Amanda Haney led off the frame with a single through the left side of the infield and stole second base. Jenna Fortune hit a grounder to Jaci Gonzalez who elected to catch Haney napping off second, but both runners reached safely on the play.
A groundout moved the runners up a base, but Kennimer escaped damage in the inning by getting a fielder's choice grounder that nailed Haney at the plate. April Jones ended the UTA threat by grounding out to Kennimer.
The Cougars and Lady Mavs exchanged runs in the sixth inning, courtesy of the long ball. Ferreris led off the Houston frame with her seventh home run of the season, and UTA's Autumn Petrino countered with a home run to start the bottom half of the inning.
Texas-Arlington took the early lead in game one by manufacturing a run in the bottom of the first inning. Fortune worked a walk off UH pitcher Crystal Briscoe (6-5), and then moved up to second on a passed ball by Cougar catcher Ferreris. With two outs Fortune stole third base, and then she scored on a sharp single up the middle by Rowan.
The Cougars tied it up in their half of the fifth inning, as Gonzalez came up with a critical two-out hit in the process. With one out Michelle Keith singled to left field, and with Houston playing small-ball, Brooke Johnson sacrificed Keith into scoring position. After working the count full, Gonzalez singled up the middle to score Keith.
The Lady Mavs took the lead for good, and in the process chased Briscoe. With one out Courtni Anderson singled past Keith into right field, and then Briscoe walked Dee Jay Nelson to prompt a pitching change. Jenny Johnson relieved Briscoe, who struck out six and walked two while giving up all three runs, and UTA countered with pinch hitter Falon Kwasnick.
Kwasnick singled up the middle to load the bases, but Johnson induced a fielder's choice groundout to force Anderson at home. But, with two outs Katie Singleton singled into left field to score both Nelson and Kwasnick with the winning runs.
Houston sliced into the lead in the seventh, but it would not be enough to force extra innings. Brandi Clark led off with a double into the right-center gap and moved over to third on a sacrifice by Keith. Brooke Johnson brought Clark home with UH run number two on a groundout to first, but Gonzalez's sharp hit up the middle was deflected by UTA pitcher Jill Garro (8-8) and fielded by Fortune to throw Gonzalez out by a hair.
The Cougars have some time off-over a week---before returning to action on March 27, when they play host to Conference USA foe Southern Miss for a three-game series at the Cougar Softball Complex.