HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Softball team shutout Wichita State, 7-0, in its American Athletic Conference series opener on Friday night at Cougar Softball Stadium.
With the win, the Cougars improve to 26-15 and 5-5 in The American, while the Shockers, who are receiving votes in the latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll, fall to 22-16 and 5-5.
In the circle, junior Savannah Heebner tossed a four-hitter to improve to 17-6. Heebner, who retired nine-straight between the third and sixth innings, issued no walks and recorded four strikeouts. The complete-game shutout is the eighth for the native of Sedalia, Colo., and 17th overall of her career. Hitting for herself, Heebner finished 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBI and one run scored.
Sophomore first baseman Kelli Montgomery joined Heebner with a triple -- the first of her career -- and two RBI as part of a 2-for-3 performance, while junior catcher Brooke Vannoy went 1-for-2 with a double, walk and two runs scored.
With two triples, Houston tied its program record for most in a single game. The mark had previously been achieved nine times and last against Incarnate Word on Feb. 19, 2017, at Cougar Softball Stadium.
Friday's game was delayed one hour and 10 minutes due to inclement weather in the Houston area.
2nd | Sophomore third baseman Sarah Queen singled to left field to open the bottom of the second inning. After advancing around to third on a groundout and wild pitch, Montgomery delivered Queen with a triple down the right-field line for a 1-0 lead.
3rd | The Cougars added four runs in the third. With one out, James singled up the middle. Two batters later, senior left fielder Kaylin Crumpton singled to right center, and Queen walked to load the bases. Heebner singled into left center to score James and Crumpton. Montgomery followed with an infield single to score Queen, and an error on the play allowed Heebner to come around for a 5-0 advantage.
4th | In the fourth, Vannoy sprinted around the bases to make it 6-0. With one out, the native of Sugar Land, Texas, doubled to center field before continuing on home on an error on the throw in.
6th | Sophomore Breezy Burton capped the offense with a pinch-hit, RBI single in the bottom of the sixth for the 7-0 final.
Top Offensive Players:
Savannah Heebner | 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI, R
Kelli Montgomery | 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI
Brooke Vannoy | 1-2, 2B, BB, 2 R
Sarah Queen | 1-2, BB, 2 R
Arielle James | 1-3, BB, R
Kaylin Crumpton | 1-3, R
Savannah Heebner (W, 17-6) | 7.0 IP, CG, SHO, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Houston will look to seize the series in game two on Saturday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
Saturday marks the beginning of "Alumni Weekend" at Cougar Softball Stadium. Former letterwinners will be recognized on field prior to first pitch, and the Cougars will hold their annual alumni slowpitch game one hour following the conclusion of Saturday's contest.
COUGAR SOFTBALL STADIUM UPGRADES
Thanks to a record year for the Diamond Club, Houston Softball announced the addition of an LED, Daktronics video board (completed) and indoor practice facility as major upgrades to Cougar Softball Stadium.
According to Daktronics, the new outfield video board is the fifth largest at an on-campus softball stadium in the country and the largest in the state of Texas. The board, which sits just beyond the left-field wall, stands 29-feet-3.1-inches tall and measure 24-feet-4.0-inches wide with 576 square feet of space (24-feet by 24-feet) for live video, instant replays, statistics and scoring information, graphics and animations, and sponsor messages. The display features a 13HD pixel layout for crisp, clear imagery for a great view from every seat at the stadium.
The indoor facility, which will replace the current batting cage down the right-field line, will measure 70-feet by 80-feet. The 5,600-square-foot space will feature five batting cages, measuring 60-feet long by 15-feet wide each, with retractable nets for the space to be used in a variety of ways. The facility will have a synthetic turf floor and will be temperature controlled.
In total, the two capital projects represent $1.2 million in upgrades.
The Houston Athletics Ticket Office is once again proud to offer the Shasta Pass for the 2017-18 season. For just $80, Cougar fans can purchase one Shasta Pass, which allows season-long general admission entrance to all Houston Volleyball, Soccer, Women's Basketball and Softball home games.
The Shasta Pass offers Houston fans a substantial saving as single-game tickets start at $5 for all four sports. To purchase a Shasta Pass, call 713-GO-COOGS or CLICK HERE.
JOIN DIAMOND CLUB
Fans can help support the Houston Softball program by joining the Diamond Club. To find out more information about the Diamond Club, visit UHCougars.com or call Cougar Pride at (713) 743-GoUH. For more information, CLICK HERE.