HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Softball team defeated Wichita State, 6-3, to win its American Athletic Conference series, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon at Cougar Softball Stadium.
With the win, the Cougars improve to 27-16 and 6-6 in The American, while the Shockers, who are receiving votes in the latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll, fall to 23-17 and 6-6.
In the circle, junior Savannah Heebner improved to 18-7. The native of Sedalia, Colo., limited WSU to three runs on nine hits while walking and striking out three apiece.
Houston’s Arielle James and Aspen Howie each singled in the rubber game. James finished 1-for-2 with a walk, hit by pitch and two runs scored, while Howie finished 1-3 with a walk, RBI and run scored.
In total, the Cougars racked up five hit by pitches. Senior left fielder Kaylin Crumpton recorded two, while James, sophomore third baseman Sarah Queen and junior right fielder Maya Thomas each had one. Crumpton, who leads The American and entered the weekend ranked sixth in the nation, has 19 total hit by pitches on the season.
Sunday’s game marked the end of “Alumni Weekend” for the Cougars. Prior to first pitch, Houston recognized the 10-year anniversary of its 2008 NCAA Super Regional team with an on-field ceremony, video board tribute and first pitch from All-Americans Angel Shamblin and Jessica Valis.
3rd | Houston scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning. James led off with a comebacker at the pitcher, and Crumpton and Queen both reached via a hit by pitch to load the bases with one out. Howie singled to center field to score James, and after a fielder’s choice got the lead runner out at home plate, a Thomas hit by pitch, wild pitch and throwing error allowed three more runs to score for a 5-0 advantage.
4th | The Cougars tacked on another run in the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. James again reached base to leadoff the bottom frame, this time via a walk, and Crumpton followed with another hit by pitch. Two batters later, James scored from second base on a throwing error.
5th | The Shockers got on the board with a solo home run in the fifth.
6th | WSU added another run in the sixth on an RBI single.
7th | In the seventh, the Shockers hit a leadoff home run and had the bases loaded with two outs before flying out to center field for the 6-3 final
Savannah Heebner (W, 18-7) | 7.0 IP, CG, 9 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K
The Cougars continue play in The American, hosting Tulsa in a three-game set across April 20-22 at Cougar Softball Stadium.
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.