April 14, 2012
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team posted a 13-5 victory over East Carolina to take the first game of Saturday's doubleheader in five innings. Houston tied a season high for hits with 18 in the game, with the 1-2-3 batters going 8-for-12 with nine runs scored.
The Cougars scored at least two runs in every inning but the third for their 10th run rule victory of the year.
Houston jumped out to a 3-0 lead following the first inning. Holly Anderson hit a shot up the middle and the ball ricocheted off the pitcher's leg allowing the junior to reach with a hit in her first at bat for the fifth straight game. Ashleigh Jones followed that single with a perfectly placed slap hit between the short stop and third baseman. Both runners would come around and score on Melissa Gregson's single to shallow center.
The top of the line up was very productive on the day. Anderson went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI, Gregson was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Jones was 2-for-4 with two runs. Only two Cougars failed to register two hits on the afternoon, as the Coguars improved to 25-15 on the season and 10-3 in Conference USA action.
Houston improved to 10-0 on the year when their leadoff batter scores in their first at bat. It was the fourth time in the last seven games Anderson has accomplished this feat as Ashleigh Jones has scored the other six times.
ECU would answer in the top of the second inning with two runs of their own but Houston answered with an even bigger rebuttal in the bottom of the second by scoring five runs.
Anderson hit her second single of the game and stole second as Houston would bat around in the second inning with five hits.
Cullum had Houston's lone error in the third inning but made up for it with two great plays later in the inning. A ball bounced off the home plate and Cullum made a great play catching the ball on the bounce with most of her body on the second base side and kept her foot on the bag to make the forceout. She followed that play with starting a 6-4-3 double play to get Houston out of the inning.
Houston was ranked No. 9 in the NCAA heading into today's contest in double plays per game (0.48).
The Cougars added three runs in the fourth inning to stretch the lead to 11-1.
Ashleigh Jones hit an infield single to lead off the frame and stole second, her 15th of the year before Gregson would follow suit with her own single and a steal., scoring Jones. Klinkert added her third RBI of the game as she laced a single to left field scoring Gregson. Redshirt freshman Sydney Gerbracht scored Jaime Edwards from third with a single to cap the inning.
Houston needed three outs for the run rule victory in the top of the fifth but ECU responded with a two-run inning, giving the Cougars another at bat as they would add the same amount to reach the run-rule limit in the bottom of the fifth.
Diedre Outon threw the complete game for Houston and improved to 10-3 on the year and 5-1 during league play.