Nordstrom's Extra-Inning Heroics Lifts Softball Past UCF
March 25, 2006
ORLANDO, Fla. - Elaina Nordstrom smacked a two-out RBI-single in the 11th inning to lift the University of Houston softball team to a thrilling 3-2 seesaw affair against UCF in the second game of a Conference USA weekend series at the UCF Softball Stadium.
"There are going to be games like this in conference action where it comes down to one inning, one batter, and one pitch," head coach Kyla Holas said. "I was really proud of the team for digging deep and finding a way to get a much-needed win."
The Cougars (23-12, 5-3 C-USA) picked up the day one sweep, while UCF (13-22, 0-8 C-USA) has lost its last ten games.
Jamie Adams opened the 11th inning reaching on an error and moved into scoring position on a passed ball setting the table for Nordstrom. Coming off a 2-for-3 effort and career-best 4 RBIs in the opening game, Nordstrom ripped the first pitch into centerfield to give the Cougars a 3-2 lead.
"Elaina's plate presence just continues to be phenomenal," Holas said. "I was surprised that UCF pitched to her in that situation, but Elaina did the best with what she was given in a clutch situation."
It was Nordstrom's second career game-winning hit in extra innings during her young Cougar career. The LaPalma, Calif. native knocked a walk-off game-winning single against Ole Miss back on March 3rd at the Time Warner Texas Invitational.
Angel Shamblin added her second win of the afternoon in the circle pitching a flawless 3.2 innings of relief being touched up for only two hits.
"Over the last couple of weeks, Angel has emerged as the ace on the staff," Holas said. "She's gone back to that mentality that she had last season of being that big fish in the little pond."
Houston manufactured a run in the first inning as Jessica Valis reached on an infield single and stole second base. Valis moved over to third base when UCF catcher Cat Snapp's pickoff throw sailed into centerfield. UCF centerfielder Kacie Feaster misplayed the ball allowing Valis to score giving Houston a 1-0 lead.
Feaster redeemed herself at the plate tying the score at 1-1 with a solo home run to left field in the fourth inning.
The Cougars retook a 2-1 advantage in the fifth inning on a Shamblin RBI-single, but the Golden Knights responded in the home half of the inning drawing a bases loaded walk evening the game at 2-2.
With no outs in the frame and the bases still loaded, Houston turned to reliever Carla Kennimer who struck out the side to keep the game all square at 2-2.
The two teams will conclude its weekend set with a single-game Sunday at 1pm. Fans can follow all of the action live from the UCF Softball Stadium with live stats on UHCougars.com and a live radio webcast provided by the UCF ISP Sports Network for those fans who have purchased the CSTV All-Access package. First pitch is slated for 12pm CST.