March 19, 2006
TULSA, Okla. - Jaci Gonzalez knocked a pinch-hit home run in the sixth inning but it was not enough as the University of Houston softball team dropped a 3-2 decision against Tulsa in the opening game of a Conference USA series Sunday at the Donna J. Hardesty Softball Complex.
The second game of the series was postponed as the rain returned in the top of the first inning with Katie Bush and Jessica Valis on first and second base, respectfully. Elaina Nordstrom was at the plate with no outs in the frame. Game two of the series will resume at 2pm Monday.
The series was originally supposed to begin with a Saturday doubleheader, but rain postponed the start of the series.
Houston (20-10, 2-2 C-USA) had a chance to score in the first inning, but Christa Raley struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat.
The Golden Hurricane (17-9, 4-0 C-USA) used that momentum sending eight batters to the plate scoring three runs in the home half of the first. Kelli McGlasson ripped a two-run RBI-double scoring Brooke Smart and Jessica Barr who reached on walks. The runners scored as the ball skipped through a wet outfield off the glove and past leftfielder Brandi Clark.
Jessica Barr extended the Tulsa advantage to 3-0 platting McGlasson on a RBI-single that got past a diving Jessica Valis and went into centerfield.
Houston responded right away as Brandi Clark opened the second inning with an infield single and Jessica Valis drew a walk. Katie Bush trimmed the deficit down to 3-1 with a RBI-single down the left field line. Laurie Wagner reached on a fielder choice and Valis tried to score from second base but was thrown out at the plate to end the frame.
Gonzalez's long ball in the sixth inning brought Houston within 3-2, but Tulsa retired the Cougars in order during the seventh holding on for the one-run victory.
Angel Shamblin was charged with the loss in the circle picking up nine strikeouts against five walks. All three runs that Shamblin gave up were earned. Her team-best nine game hitting streak was also snapped as the Davie, Fla. native went 0-for-2 at the plate with a walk.
Maren Genow picked up the win and improved to 10-3 throwing a complete game allowing four hits and two runs.
Sunday's game marked the first time that the Cougars have played a game outside of the state of Texas this season ... It also marked the first time that new Conference USA rivals Houston and Tulsa have met on the softball diamond ... The Cougars fall to 5-2 against first-time opponents this season ... Head coach Kyla Holas used her 27th different batting lineup in 31 games ... It was only the third time in 18 games that Houston has outhit its opponent and lost the game ... Both of the Cougars' C-USA losses have come in the opening game of a weekend series ... Houston drops to 3-4 in one-game runs and has lost four of its last five one-run decisions ... Angel Shamblin had her nine-game hitting snapped going 0-for-2 with a walk ... Shamblin struck out nine batters in the circle and surpassed her total of 83 Ks from a season ago ... Brandi Clark is now 11 hits away from 100 career hits after her infield single in the second inning ... Jessica Valis has drawn a walk in four consecutive C-USA contests ... With a single in the fifth inning, Elaina Nordstrom has reached base in 27 of 31 games ... The homer for Gonzalez in the sixth was only the second of her four-year career ... It was Gonzalez's first home run since February 14, 2004 against Northern Iowa.