April 22, 2012
TULSA, Okla. - The University of Houston softball team suffered a 5-3 loss to Tulsa on Sunday afternoon. Houston (27-18, 12-6) stranded eight runners and committed three errors in the contest to drop only their second Conference USA series of the year.
The two teams traded leads for the first two innings as Houston overcame Tulsa's 1-0 lead in the opening frame.
Junior Reina Gaber drew a walk, one of Houston's six free passes in the game, to start the inning and then stole second base to get into scoring position. Freshman Jaime Edwards scored Gaber from second with her 25th RBI of the season.
Kendra Cullum fought off an 0-2 pitch with two outs to place the ball into the left-center gap as Houston gained the 2-1 advantage with Edwards crossing the plate on the single.
Starting pitcher Diedre Outon (10-5) took the loss for the Cougars and threw 1.2 innings. Outon managed two quick outs in the second frame but after a single scored the tying run and an error prolonged the inning, she was pulled for sophomore Bailey Watts.
Watts would pitch the rest of the game for Houston as she threw 4.1 innings with one earned run allowed and three strike outs.
Tulsa would plate three runs in the second inning and had the potential to pour more on after a bases loaded foul-ball cleared the fences. But Watts was able to bear down and throw a swinging strikeout on the next pitch to get Houston through the jam and keep the Cougars in the game.
The next best chance for Houston to regain the lead came in the fourth inning as Houston would leave the bases loaded. Jennifer Klinkert led off the inning with a single and Kendra Cullum and Holly Anderson worked walks to juice the bases. Pinch hitter Kayla Holland was unable to deliver the tying run as Houston remained behind 3-2.
Tulsa padded their lead in the sixth inning as two runs would come home as centerfielder Ashleigh Jones tried to make the inning-ending diving play but the ball bounced off her glove and TU went up 5-2.
Houston made a rally in the seventh inning as Cullum and Anderson again reached base in succession as they hit singles to both corners of the field before Melissa Gregson drew a walk. Houston pushed a run across the plate as Haley Outon grounded out to shortstop but the rally ended afterwards and the Cougars fell 5-3.
Anderson went 2-for-2 in the game and extended her hitting streak to 13 games and has hit safely in 15 straight conference contests.
Houston hosts a pair of Bayou City teams as Texas Southern and Houston Baptist come to Cougar Softball Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday.