May 18, 2012
NCAA Softball - Austin Regional Game 1
Houston 2 (35-22) vs. Auburn 1 (33-22)
May 18, 2012 - Austin, Texas
Houston has won seven consecutive NCAA Regional Games dating back to 2008. UH swept the 2008 Houston Regional (3-0) and won last year's Austin Regional (3-0). The Cougars are also 5-0 vs. ranked teams during that impressive postseason run.
Overall Houston is making its fifth postseason appearance in program history. UH advanced to NCAA Regional play in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012. This marks the first time in program history that Houston has made NCAA Regional appearances in back-to-back seasons. Houston is 10-4 all-time in NCAA Regional play and 12-8 overall, including a 2-4 mark in Super Regional action in 2008 and 2011.
Today's contest was the first meeting in series history between Houston and Auburn. It's also the first meeting vs. a member of the Southeastern Conference this season. Houston last faced a team from the SEC in 2011, knocking off LSU in a two-game sweep (1-0, 5-4) on Feb. 19-20. Overall the UH winning streak vs. the SEC stands at three consecutive.
Houston is 10-15 all-time vs. members of the Southeastern Conference.
Houston had leadoff hitters reach base in five of seven innings, including the seventh inning when the Cougars scored the winning run.
Bailey Watts (16-8 overall) was outstanding in earning her first career NCAA Tournament victory. She kept the Auburn hitters off balance all afternoon, relinquishing 10 pop/line outs to infielders, four ground ball outs, four strikeouts and just three flies to the outfielders.
Watts' 16th win is a career high for the talented sophomore.
Diedre Outon picked a great time for the first two-hit game of her career. Her second hit, a leadoff single in the seventh, fueled the seventh-inning rally.
Third baseman Holly Anderson extended her hitting streak to seven games with a leadoff double in the first inning. The liner off the top of the centerfield wall was Anderson's ninth two-bagger of the season and her 20th extra-base hit of 2012.
Anderson also scored her 45th run of the year (second on the team) in the seventh inning on an illegal pitch. The team leader in that category, Haley Outon, scored her team-leading 47th run to open the game's scoring.
Catcher Haley Outon extended her hit streak to eight games with an infield single to lead off the fourth inning. During the streak Outon is hitting .517 (15-of-29) with six home runs, 14 RBI and 10 runs scored. She also stole her 10th base (10-of-11) of the year in the win.
Houston is among the nation's Top 10 in stolen bases with 1.91 per game and the Cougars stole another base today (Haley Outon). Houston has 110 stolen bases this season, which is a new school record. The previous mark was 84 set in 2010. The Cougars entered the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 8 nationally in that category.
Houston improved to 31-1 when leading after the third inning and 28-4 when scoring the first run of the contest. Houston is 8-10 on the year in one-run games. Houston recorded its fourth win of the season when scoring two runs. Houston improved to 4-12 on the year in such contests. Houston has finished the year strong, going 6-1 over its last seven games
Houston will play at noon tomorrow vs. the winner of the Texas - Northwestern contest.