March 30, 2013
PROVO, Utah - The University of Houston softball team completed their sweep over BYU on Saturday by taking both games of the doubleheader, 9-3 and 3-2. Houston improved to 22-10 on the year while BYU fell to 14-18 and saw their 42-game home non-conference winning streak fall over the weekend series.
HOUSTON 9, BYU 3
Houston jumped out to a quick start with a pair of runs scored in both of the first two innings in the first game. Four UH batters collected multiple RBIs as the Cougars pulled away with a five-run final inning.
In the first inning, Haley Outon swung at the first pitch she saw and the ball left the field in a hurry on a line drive. It was the ninth home run of the year for the junior and scored Kendra Cullum to put UH up 2-0.
Julia Pecina collected two doubles in the game with her first coming in the second inning. Katie St. Pierre followed by reaching base on her second walk of the game. The freshman stole second before Cullum loaded the bases by taking a bean ball. With the bases juiced, Gaber ripped a two-out single to right field that added two more runs to the board, giving UH the 4-0 lead.
Cullum set the UH career record for hit by pitches (37) in the game by drawing two bean balls in the game. The junior accomplished the feat in only 84 games.
Leading by four in their final at bat, Houston scored five runs in the seventh off five hits to seal the deal. Cullum's record-breaking HBP started the inning and the next seven batters all reached base. Kayla Holland's two-out, two-RBI single started the barrage and Pecina's second double of the game made it 7-1 as she plated Holland. Freshman Jessica Snyder was next up after Pecina's and she added a double of her own to score two more and give UH their final run total.
Diedre Outon made the start at pitcher for Houston and earned the win to even her record (3-3) on the year. Outon threw a season-high seven strikeouts and was at her best with runners on base. She threw two of her strikeouts to end innings when BYU loaded the bases. The Cougar infield turned a season-high two double plays to help escort Outon out of any danger.
BYU strung together four straight two-out hits in the bottom of the fifth inning to avoid the shutout and then answered UH's seventh-inning scoring outburst with a pair of runs scored to give the final tally 9-3.
HOUSTON 3, BYU 2
Houston came through with a 3-2 win to complete the sweep in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader in a much closer affair that came down to the final at bat. Houston never trailed BYU all weekend and were never even tied for more than half an inning. First inning scores were a big part of Houston's success as the Cougars totaled eight runs in the series in the opening frame.
BYU tied the game in the bottom of the third inning but Houston immediately regained the lead in the top of the fourth. Kayla Holland's two-out single to center field gave UH a base runner and moving on contact, the Katy (Texas) native came around to score on Jaime Edwards single to give UH the advantage 2-1.
Haley Outon drew her 31st walk of the year to lead off the sixth after BYU had tied the game up in the bottom of the fifth and a sacrifice bunt by Taylor Duplechain moved Outon along into scoring position. Holland came up big for UH once again with the game-winning single to score Outon and put UH up 3-2.
Things got tense in the seventh inning as BYU loaded the bases with the winning run only 120 feet away. Junior hurler Bailey Watts received a quick mound visit from head coach Kyla Holas and was able to buckle down and get the final out. Watts earned the win (13-3) in her 52nd career complete game, the third most in school history.
Houston hosts Lamar for a doubleheader on April 2 at Cougar Softball Stadium. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m.