Jessica Valis tallied her team-leading 18th multi-hit game of the season in the series finale against Marshall.
April 15, 2006
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - A three-run third inning gave Marshall a 5-1 victory over the University of Houston softball team in the final game of a Conference USA weekend series Saturday morning at Dot Hicks Field.
Amanda Williams gave the Thundering Herd a 1-0 lead taking a 1-1 pitch over the right centerfield fence for a lead-off home run in the first inning. Marshall continued the threat as Ashley Mitchell knocked a single and C-USA preseason Player of the Year Rachel Folden reached on a fielder's choice. The duo moved into scoring position on a wild pitch with no outs.
Houston starter Candi Kloecker dug deep and recorded consecutive strikeouts on a pair of clutch 3-2 pitches. Kloecker got out of the jam getting Jessica Williams to line out.
Marshall (25-20, 11-7 C-USA) capitalized on a Cougar throwing to extend the advantage to 2-0. Kloecker once again pitched out of trouble in the second inning stranding runners on second and third to keep the game at 2-0.
The Cougars (28-18, 9-6 C-USA) loaded the bases in third inning as Jamie Adams, Jaci Gonzalez and Jessica Valis strung together a trio of hits. Pinch-hitter Laurie Wagner drew a walk with one out to trim the deficit to 2-1.
The score stayed at 2-1 as Elaina Nordstrom grounded out and Valis was caught leaning off of third base in a rundown.
The Thundering broke the game open platting three runs on five hits in the home half of the frame. Sara Spencia, Amanda Williams and Mitchell provided the damage with a trio of RBI-hits to give Marshall a 5-1 cushion chasing Kloecker from the game.
Kloecker was tagged with the loss and dropped to 8-9, while Abigail Hitter pitched a complete-game for Marshall allowing just one run on five hits.
Houston returns to the Cougar Softball Stadium for a key C-USA weekend series against Southern Miss. The two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday followed by a single-game Sunday.
First pitch on both days is scheduled for 1pm. Saturday is Father/Daughter Day as fathers and daughters will receive 2-for-1 admission, while Sunday the Cougars will welcome the YMCA. All games from the Cougar Softball Stadium will have live stats available on UHCougars.com
Houston drops to 2-1 all-time against Marshall and to 12-6 against first-time opponents this season ... Head coach Kyla Holas has used a different batting order in 41 of 46 games this season ... Holas has used a different order in 21 of her last 22 games ... The Cougars used the same batting lineup from game one of the Marshall series minus Candi Kloecker who was this morning's starter ... Houston falls to 7-12 when the opposition scores first and to 6-9 when getting outhit by its opponents ... It was only the fifth time this season that the Cougar pitching staff has allowed double-digit hits ... Houston is 1-4 in those contests ... The Cougars fall to 3-2 in the final game of a Conference USA series ... Angel Shamblin has not allowed a run in her last 15.0 innings of work dating back to the seventh inning of the UTEP game on April 1 ... With three strikeouts in relief, Shamblin is now three strikeouts shy of away from matching Jenny Johnson's mark of 129 Ks for fifth-most Ks over a season in program history ... Jessica Valis has hit safely in eight of last nine games ... Valis added her team-leading 18th multiple hit game ... Of Valis' team-leading 52 hits, 38 of them have not left the infield ... The Shiner, Texas product is now four hits shy from matching Kristin Glowacz's freshman-record 55 hits during the 2002 season ... Laurie Wagner became the fourth Cougar this season to reach 20 RBIs ... Her RBI with a bases loaded walk in the third inning put Wagner in sole possession of sixth place for RBIs in a season as a freshman ... The Houston, Texas product is two RBIs from reaching Jenilee Skender (2002-2005) and Kim Nesloney's (2002-2005) 22 RBIs, both set during the 2002 season ... Wagner has drawn a walk in nine of 13 C-USA games she has played in ... Elaina Nordstrom reached on a fielder's choice in the third inning and got on base in 41 of 46 games this season ... With a single in the fifth inning, Brandi Clark is now four hits away from becoming the ninth player in program history to reach 100-career hits ... Jaci Gonzalez has reached base in 20 of 29 games when in the batting lineup ... Gonzalez has hit safely five of her last seven games ... With her single in the third inning, the San Antonio, Texas, native is now six hits shy of reaching Michelle Keith's (2002-2005) 119 career hits for No. 5 all-time in program history.