April 13, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team used 27 total runs and three homeruns to defeat the UTEP Miners 17-2 and 10-7 in both games of a Conference USA double header on Saturday, at Helen of Troy Field in El Paso.
With the double-header victory Houston was able to improve to 28-12 (11-3 C-USA) on the season while the Miners dropped to 12-24 (1-12 C-USA).
Houston set the tone right out of the gate when its first 13 batters of the game reached base before UTEP could record an out.
Freshman Katie St. Pierre started game one with a walk on an illegal pitch. After a bunt single by Kendra Cullum put runners on first and second, senior Holly Anderson drove a double to deep center field to score St. Pierre. Haley Outon followed suit with an RBI single that would allow both Cullum and Anderson to score.
From there UTEP pitching would go on to walk the next 9 Cougar batters in order, and Houston led the ballgame 10-0 before another ball was put into play.
The Cougars would go on to add three more runs before the Miners could cross the plate in the bottom of the second. Reina Gaber drove in two runs on a single in the first inning, and Jamie Edwards and Julia Pecina had back-to-back doubles to lead off the second inning.
In the circle for Houston in game one, junior Bailey Watts was able to pitch around some UTEP threats to turn in a solid performance complete game performance. In her 5.0 innings, Watts gave up just two runs on six hits and was able to strand seven Miners base runners on base in her 15th win of the season. In the fourth inning Anderson would connect for her sixth home run of the season to make the score 17-2. Anderson would finish with five RBI in the game and six total for the day.
After a patient approach in game one, Houston would rely on the long ball to take control of game two. After both pitchers cruised through the first two innings, Haley Outon drove a grand slam deep over the fence in left field to give the Cougars a 4-0 lead.
However the Miners would come roaring back in the bottom half of the third. Thanks to a couple favorable bounces by the Miners, and some shaky defense on the Cougars' end UTEP found themselves down 4-2 with the bases loaded. Then, on a 3-2 pitch Alanna Leasau drove a ball over the fence in center to give the Miners a 6-4 lead heading into the 4th inning.
The Cougars would waste no time coming back as Anderson drew a bases loaded walk in the 4th after Pecina and St. Pierre singled and Cullum walked. Haley Outon was due up next and connected on a ball the other way that went over the fence in right center for her second grand slam of the game. Outon would finish with 10 total RBI on the day.
In the circle in game two for Houston, junior Diedre Outon (7-4) would come away with the win allowing seven runs in 6.1 innings pitched. In her work she was able to strand 10 UTEP runners on base. The game got dramatic in the bottom of the 7th when UTEP was able to load the bases with one out. However, Watts was able to come in and shut the door in relief by getting a strikeout and a lineout to end the game for her first save of the season.
In game two, Kendra Cullum was hit by her 23rd pitch of the season which broke her own school record of 22. It was the third time she had been hit on the day.
Houston will go for the sweep of UTEP in game three tomorrow beginning at 1 p.m. CT/noon MT tomorrow at Helen of Troy Field in El Paso.