April 1, 2006
HOUSTON - A pair of two-run home runs lifted UTEP past the University of Houston softball team 5-3 in the opening game of a Conference USA weekend series Saturday at the Cougar Softball Stadium.
The Cougars (24-13, 6-4 C-USA) had its four-game winning streak snapped as Angel Shamblin was tagged with the loss falling to 10-6 on the season. Veronica Flournoy picked up the victory moving to 6-6 despite allowing eight walks.
Kelly Lombard got the Miners (13-22, 2-4 C-USA) on the board with a two-run blast in the first inning, while Simone Holland broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run shot of her own in the seventh inning.
UTEP stretched its lead to 3-0 on a RBI-single by Holland in the third inning.
Houston stormed back to even the score with three runs in the fifth inning. Jessica Valis opened the frame with a walk and moved to second base on an infield single by Katie Bush. Valis came around to score on an Elaina Nordstrom RBI-single. Nordstrom has picked up a RBI in her last five games.
With runner on second and third, Houston trimmed the deficit down to 3-2 benefiting on a dropped popup by Flournoy just outside of the pitching circle. Laura Durham tacked on a sacrifice fly to even the score at 3-3.
The Cougars left 10 runners on base and have left double-digit runners on base in three of its last four contests.
The two teams will conclude its weekend series with a single-game Sunday at 1pm. UH students get in free by showing their Cougar 1 Card.
This afternoon marked the first all-time meeting between Houston and UTEP on the softball diamond ... The Cougars fall to 9-4 against first time opponents and to 7-8 against fellow Lone Star State foes this season ... Three of Houston's four Conference USA losses have come in the opening game of the series ... The Cougars have lost eight of 12 games when getting outhit ... It was only the fourth time in 26 games this season that Houston has scored at least three runs and lost ... Head coach Kyla Holas used her 32nd different batting lineup in 37 games this season ... Angel Shamblin returned to the cleanup spot followed by Haley Valis in the No. 5 hole ... Holas has used a different lineup in 12 of her last 13 games ... Shamblin drew a career-best three walks ... She has reached base in 15 of her last 16 contests ... Jamie Adams has hit safely in her last four appearances and in five of her six games ... Jessica Valis and Laurie Wagner have drawn walks in seven of 10 Conference USA games ... Valis has scored a run in 21 of her last 32 games ... She notched her team-best 15th stolen base in the third inning ... The Shiner, Texas native has picked up a stolen base in two of last three games ... Elaina Nordstrom has reached base in 32 of 36 games ... Katie Bush is the fourth Cougar to reach the 30-hit plateau ... She registered a hit in 11 of her last 13 games and is the first Cougar to reach the 40-hit mark ... The LaPalma, Calif. native has also picked up a RBI in her last five games.