Inaugural Season Gets Underway at UTA Classic
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team, the newest program in Cougar athletics, will begin its inaugural season this weekend (February 9-11) at the Texas-Arlington/ISUZU Intercollegiate Classic to be held in Grand Prairie, Texas.
As a part of the 18-team tournament that also features nationally-ranked Conference USA foe Southern Miss, the Cougars will play three games on Friday at Mike Lewis Park before bracket play begins on Saturday. The tournament also includes state rivals Baylor, Stephen F. Austin, Texas - San Antonio and Texas A&M.
Houston is paced by freshman Jenny Johnson and junior college transfer Ali McDougall who both made impressive showings during the pre-season. Johnson, a two-time all-state selection at Grissom High School in Huntsville, Alabama, was named state MVP and Player of the Year her senior season. She was also a three-time pitcher of the year selection and helped lead her team to the state finals two years in a row, including the 2000 state title. As a two-time member of the all-state tournament team in 1999 and '00, Johnson holds the Alabama state record for single season wins (41), strikeouts (547), ERA (0.30) and no-hitters (3).
McDougall boasted a .380 batting average as a member of the softball team at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. While McDougall will see time at both first base and pitcher for the Cougars, last year at Blinn McDougall was an all-region selection who pitched 31 innings in two days to help lead Blinn to the Region XIV tournament finals.
Friday, February 9th
Houston vs. Arkansas 9:00 a.m.
Houston vs. Bethune-Cookman 11:15 a.m.
UT - Arlington vs. Houston 3:45 p.m.