April 7, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team dropped the rubber match 5-4 to Marshall on Sunday afternoon at Cougar Softball Stadium. Houston (25-12, 9-3) took their first Conference USA series loss over the weekend while Marshall improved to 25-13, 11-4 on the year.
The final decision for the game was much closer than the start as the Thundering Herd opened the first inning with a three-run homer and added a solo home run in the top of the second to make it a quick 4-0 lead. Houston would hold the Herd to only one run and three hits the rest of the game.
Kayla Holland (1-for-2, 3 RBI) sliced into the deficit in the second inning with her second home run of the year. The solo shot to left-center field made it 4-1 in favor of MU.
Houston added another run the next inning with Katie St. Pierre reaching safely on a fielder's choice and putting herself in scoring position by way of her 10th steal of the year. The two-out gamble paid off during the at bat as Kendra Cullum lifted a single to right center to score St. Pierre. The freshman, St. Pierre, was 0-for-3 in the game and saw her program-best 21-game hitting streak come to an end.
Diedre Outon made the start in the circle for UH and was chased out of the fifth inning after Marshall added another run to their tally. Outon (5-4) took the loss in her 4.2 innings of work with two strikeouts and six hits allowed. Bailey Watts entered the game with runners on second and third and induced a ground out to shortstop to keep Houston within striking range.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Kendra Cullum drew her nation's leading 18th hit by pitch to get on board. Holly Anderson hit a single to shallow center before both Cougars moved into scoring position off Haley Outon's error to third base. Holland was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game but this time the bases were loaded allowing a run to score making it 5-3.
Houston's rally in the seventh inning started out promising with Cullum taking a walk to start the action. Cullum moved to third on Anderson's hit that went off the wall and the Dickinson (Texas) native had to settle for a double instead of a game-tying two-run homer. Holland's ground out scored Cullum from third but the rally ended after that with Marshall claiming the 5-4 win over Houston.
Houston hosts Jackson State on Tuesday night before traveling to UTEP next weekend.