April 2, 2006
HOUSTON - A late-inning comeback capped by a two-run home run by Sarah Ramirez in the seventh inning pushed UTEP past the University of Houston softball team 4-3 in the rubber game of a Conference USA weekend series Sunday at the Cougar Softball Stadium.
It was the first time in 25 decisions that Houston lost when carrying a lead into the seventh inning. The last time the Cougars lost when leading in the seventh was a year ago today at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
"The biggest thing that we're fighting for right now is to make the conference tournament," head coach Kyla Holas said. "Our offense has been shutting down recently after scoring runs. We have to make sure that we continue to apply pressure on offense."
Amber Bennent opened the seventh reaching on a throwing error by Houston third baseman Laura Durham. Ramirez took the first pitch from Cougar starter Candi Kloecker over the left centerfield fence giving the Miners a 4-3 lead.
UTEP (14-23, 3-5 C-USA) began its rally in the sixth inning as pinch-hitter Megan Whiteaker knocked a two-out RBI-single cutting the Houston advantage to 3-2.
The Cougars (25-14, 7-5 C-USA) turned a 1-0 deficit scoring three runs in the third inning stringing together four consecutive hits.
Jaci Gonzalez and Jessica Valis singled, while Bush brought Gonzalez home tying the score at 1-1 on a single to left field. Elaina Nordstrom slapped a RBI-double into the left centerfield gap to score Valis giving Houston a 2-1 lead.
Laurie Wagner capped the scoring on a sacrifice fly to plate Bush making it 3-1, but Nordstrom was called out at third base trying to advance on the Wagner sacrifice fly.
The Miners opened the scoring in the second inning as Ashley Perez hit a solo home run to right centerfield.
Houston returns to the diamond with a pair of mid-weeks doubleheaders at Texas-San Antonio and Texas State. First pitch at UTSA is on-tap for 1pm Tuesday.
Houston falls to 1-2 all-time against UTEP and to 10-5 against first-time opponents this season ... The Cougars drop to 8-9 against fellow Lone Star State opponents ... This afternoon's game was only the fifth time in 23 games that the Cougars have outhit its opponent and lost the game ... Three of those five losses have come in Conference USA action ... It was also the first time in 25 consecutive decisions that the Cougars have lost when carrying a lead into the seventh inning ... The last time that happened was a year ago today at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ... Houston drops to 3-1 in game three of a Conference USA series ... Head coach Kyla Holas used her 34th different batting lineup in 39 games this season ... She has used a different batting lineup in 14 of her last 15 games ... Laurie Wagner made her third appearance in the No. 5 spot in the lineup and was followed for the first time in the No. 6 hole by Christa Raley ... Jamie Adams extended her hitting streak to six games with an infield single in the fourth inning ... Adams has hit safely in seven of her last eight appearances ... Katie Bush has hit safely and scored a run in her last four games ... With her run scored in the third inning, Jaci Gonzalez was the eight Cougar to score her 10th run of the season ... Jessica Valis picked up her team-best 14th multi-hit game ... 29 of Valis' team-best 42 hits have not left the infield ... Valis has scored a run in 23 of her last 24 games and in seven of her last nine outings ... Elaina Nordstrom has reached base in 34 of 39 games this season ... Nordstrom's RBI-double in the third inning gives the LaPalma, Calif. native a RBI in six of her last seven games ... Nordstrom also racked up her eighth multi-hit game ... With each tallying multi-hit games, Valis and Nordstrom stay tied for the team-lead with 42 hits.