Softball Falls to Tulsa
May 13, 2006
TULSA, Okla. - In a classic pitcher's dual, top-seed and tournament host Tulsa tiptoed past the third-seeded University of Houston softball team 1-0 in an elimination game Saturday morning at the Conference USA Championship on the Tulsa campus.
Tulsa (33-22) advances to face Marshall (33-22) in the C-USA championship game at 2:30pm with the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals on the line, while the Cougars (40-23) conclude the regular season with its most wins in program history.
The game featured three hits and eight baserunners between the two teams. C-USA Pitcher of the Year Angel Shamblin (16-10) was the hard-luck loser for the Cougars, being touched up for two infield singles and an unearned run.
Tulsa hurler Maren Genow (15-9) gave up four walks against three strikeouts en route to a one-hitter. It was Genow's fifth shutout of the season.
"It definitely came down to one inning and anything that happens as far as who gets the break, the timely hit or any error that happens makes the difference," head coach Kyla Holas said. "This morning we just happened to come up short on that one thing."
The Golden Hurricane scored the game's lone run taking advantage of a Jessica Barr two-out walk in the second inning. A Jessica Valis throwing error on a softly tapped ground ball kept the inning alive.
With runners on second and third base, Kelly Miller legged out an infield single deep in Valis' hole by a couple steps giving Tulsa a 1-0 advantage.
Jamie Adams was Houston's first baserunner in the third inning and was retired on a fielder's choice by Jaci Gonzalez. Tulsa first baseman Katie Torres threw the ball past Genow, which allowed Gonzalez to scamper over to second base, but Gonzalez was out trying to advanced to third as Tulsa third baseman Lindsay Galloway tracked down the ball and fired a strike to Genow who was covering the bag.
Houston got its lone hit off Genow when Valis led off the fourth inning with an infield single. Valis moved to second base on a Katie Bush sacrifice bunt, but was retired at third on a fielder's choice ground ball by Elaina Nordstrom.
The Cougars put pressure on in the fifth inning stringing together consecutive walks from Laurie Wagner and Adams. The duo moved up 60-feet into scoring position on a passed ball, but Gonzalez struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch on the inside corner ending the theat.
Shamblin kept Houston in the game, retiring 13 consecutive batters after the Miller infield single in the second all the way to a Sara Dyer lead-off single to open the seventh.
Genow was able to seal her fifth shutout of the season getting the Cougars to go down in order in the seventh.
"Even with today's result, we found what we need to have here at the end of the season," Holas said. "We are a young group that accomplished a lot, including many program firsts and team honors. We were in every game and we feel that we lost due to ourselves not because our opponents beat us. That's something we can control in the future."
Houston will now hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Regionals. The selection show is slated for 2:30pm CDT Sunday afternoon on ESPNews.