April 29, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - UAB used a five-run third inning to defeat the University of Houston softball team 6-4 on a blustery Saturday afternoon in the opening game of a Conference USA weekend series at George Ward Park.
UAB (28-18, 12-7 C-USA) snapped Houston's (30-19, 12-7 C-USA) seven-game winning streak. The Blazers also halted Houston's nine-game winning steak in the overall series.
The Blazers pushed across five runs on five hits in the third inning chasing Houston starter Angel Shamblin from the game.
Amanda Antonovich opened the frame with a walk and moved to second base on a Jacy Leon sacrifice bunt. Antonovich went to third on an infield single by Allison Davis and scored as the ball scooted away off Davis giving UAB a 1-0 lead.
The Blazers got a single from Lindsay Stanley that allowed Davis to move to third base. Stanley stole second and Chelsea McCall made it 2-0 with a RBI-single. Holly Krzan drew a walk to load the bases.
After Andrea Rogers flew out to centerfield, UAB got a two-run double from Nicole Whitlock followed by a Leigh Walker RBI-single extending the advantage to 5-0.
Houston responded by capitalizing on four consecutive walks in the fourth inning from UAB starter Jennifer Nelson to trim the deficit down to 5-1. Jamie Adams grounded into a fielder's choice to make it 5-2, but Nelson got Jaci Gonzalez to foul out to end the threat.
The Cougars continued to rally as Jessica Valis, Katie Bush and Elaina Nordstrom opened the fifth inning stringing together a trio of singles. Christa Raley drew the Cougars within 5-3 scoring Valis on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Angel Shamblin reached on a fielder's choice and stole second base, while Laura Durham was intentionally walked to reload the bases. Laurie Wagner flew out to centerfield keeping the game at 5-3.
UAB tacked on an insurance run in the home half of the fifth as Antonovich drew a bases loaded walk pushing the lead to 6-3.
The Cougars had one last rally in the sixth inning as Nordstrom ripped a RBI-double past a diving Stanley to left centerfield. From her centerfield post, McCall gathered the ball and threw a one-hopper to the plate to get Bush, who was trying to score from first base, out at home keeping the score at 6-4.
Shamblin was tagged with the loss, while Nelson sprayed seven hits over seven innings overcoming eight walks. Both pitchers are now 14-7 on the season.
Houston leads the all-time series 11-5 against UAB ... The Cougars nine-game winning streak in the series was snapped in addition to Houston's seven-game streak entering the game ... Head coach Kyla Holas reused her batting lineup from game two against Grambling State but added Candi Kloecker as the designated player ... Holas has used a different lineup in 46 of 54 games and in 26 of her last 30 outings ... Houston falls to 3-4 in game one of a Conference USA series ... With one strikeout, Angel Shamblin is now 22 Ks shy from matching Jenny Johnson's mark of 173 for most strikeouts in a season ... Jessica Valis has hit safely in 15 of her last 17 games ... With two team strikeouts, the Cougar pitching staff set a new team record for strikeouts in a season ... In her last nine games, Valis has had six multi-hit games and now has 22 multi-hit outings for the season ... Of Valis' team-best 65 hits, 47 of them have not left the infield ... Valis has past Kristen Glowacz's efforts during the 2003 and 2005 for second most hits in a single season ... Valis has scored a run in 36 of 54 games, including 11 of her last 13 contests ... The Shiner, Texas, native is now two hits away from Glowacz's single-season record of 67 hits ... Katie Bush has hit safely in six of her last eight games ... Bush is now eight hits away from matching Kristen Glowacz's 55 hits for No. 3 single-season by a freshman ... Elaina Nordstrom has reached base in 49 of 54 games ... Nordstrom has hit safely in six of her last seven contests and has picked up a RBI in five of her last six outings ... With her RBI, Nordstrom is one shy of tying Arelis Ferreris 2003 mark of 49 for a single-season ... The LaPalma, Calif., native also tallied her 14th multi-hit game ... Christa Raley was hit-by-a-pitch for a team-best ninth time this season ... Laurie Wagner has recorded a hits in four of her last five games since returning to the starting lineup on April 24 ... Laura Durham had her four-game hitting, run and RBI streaks snapped ... Jamie Adams hit safely in eight of 13 C-USA appearances ... Adams has also picked up a RBI in her last three starts ... Jaci Gonzalez has scored a run in eight of her 10 games.