April 28, 2007
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The University of Houston softball lost a 3-1 decision to East Carolina Saturday afternoon in game two of a Conference USA weekend series at the ECU Softball Field.
Reigning Conference USA Pitcher of the Week Toni Paisley tallied 13 strikeouts and improved to 17-4 on the season, while Houston hurler Barbie Love was the tough-luck loser and dropped to 6-6.
The Pirates (35-17, 11-8 C-USA) pushed across three runs in the second inning. Erin St. Ledger and Joyce Roodenburg strung together a pair of singles and moved into scoring position with two outs. ECU moved ahead 1-0 as Christina Merrida ran around Houston first baseman's Amanda Grote's tag attempt on the first base line allowing St. Ledger to score.
After Merrida stole second base, Charina Sumner made it 3-0 with a bloop two-run single past the outstretched effort from UH shortstop Jessica Valis.
"East Carolina did an excellent job of regrouping after game one," head coach Kyla Holas said. "They made some key plays in key situations to win the game."
Laura Durham belted a solo home run to open the seventh inning to draw the Cougars within 3-1. With two outs, Laurie Wagner kept the Houston rally alive with a single before Grote fouled out to end the game.
The rubber game of the series is on-tap for Sunday at 11am CST. Live stats will be available on UHCougars.com
"We need to regroup," Jessica Valis said. "Winning the regular season title is just one of the goals that we set before the season began. We need to keep our momentum going heading into the conference tournament and that starts with tomorrow's game."
Game two of this afternoon's doubleheader was the 18th all-time meeting between Houston and East Carolina on the softball diamond ... The Cougars fall to 10-8 against the Pirates but have still won four of the last six meetings in the series dating back to last season ... The three runs scored by East Carolina in the second inning snapped the Houston pitching staff's streak at 30.0 consecutive innings without a run allowed ... Houston drops to 12-15 when scoring three runs or less ... It was just the third loss in Houston's last 38 games against unranked opponents ... The Cougars are now 29-8 in day games and fall to 4-3 in game two of a Conference USA weekend series ... Jessica Valis and Elaina Nordstrom have started in all 113 games of their careers ... Laura Durham also has played in all 113 games of her Houston career since transferring from Texas A&M ... Katie Bush has made 110 consecutive starts in centerfield ... Jessica Valis is the only Cougar to hit safely in each of Houston's 20 Conference USA contests ... The Shiner native has hit safely in 19 of her last 21 games ... Valis now has 140 career hits and is 20 away from matching Jenilee Skender (2002-05) for the No. 4 slot ... Valis' 68 hits in 2007 allows her to pass Kristen Glowacz (2004) for the second most hits in a single season ... She needs four more hits to match her program mark from last season ... It was only the sixth time in her last 19 games that Katie Bush failed to get a hit ... Elaina Nordstrom knocked a double in the first inning and has reached base in 99 of 113 career games ... Nordstrom joins Jessica Valis as the only Cougars to reach base in each of Houston's 20 C-USA games ... Nordstrom now has 102 career hits and moves to five hits from tying Jeanie Davis (2002-05) for the No. 10 spot on the program's career hits list ... It was only the sixth time in her last 39 games that Christa Raley failed to reach base ... Laurie Wagner has notched a hit in her last C-USA games ... With six strikeouts, Barbie Love moves to 21 strikeouts away from reaching 200 for her career.