Softball Starts 2013 Season hosting Hilton Houston Plaza Classic

Feb. 7, 2013

Time Visitor Home Stats
11:30 a.m. Iowa Lipscomb Lipscomb 4, Iowa 0
2:00 p.m. Iowa Texas State Iowa 5, Texas State 4
4:30 p.m. Lipscomb Houston Lipscomb 4, Houston 2
7:00 p.m. Houston Texas State Houston 3, Texas State 1
9:00 a.m. Texas State Lipscomb Gametracker
11:30 a.m. Texas State Houston Gametracker
2:00 p.m. Houston Iowa Gametracker
4:30 p.m. Lipscomb ULL Gametracker
7:00 p.m. Iowa ULL Gametracker
9 a.m. Houston Lipscomb Gametracker
11:30 a.m. ULL Iowa Gametracker
2:00 p.m. Texas State Houston Gametracker

HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball program begins the 2013 season by hosting the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic this Friday. First pitch for the Cougars is set for 4:30 p.m. Feb. 7 against Lipscomb with a game against Texas State to immediately follow.

UH opens the 2013 with six games at home this tournament and the next seven to follow inside of Cougar Softball Stadium with the Hilton Houston Plaza Invite next weekend.

Houston plays Texas State (11:30 a.m.) and Iowa (2 p.m.) on Saturday and close the tournament with Sunday's games at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. against Lipscomb and Texas State.

Houston is 11-7 in the all-time series against Texas State including a 2-1 mark last year against the fellow 2012 NCAA postseason squad. Houston faces Lipscomb and Iowa for the first time in the 13th year of the program's existence with all 13 under head coach Kyla Holas' watch.

Last year Holas earned her 400th career win with a 10-0 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to open the season in the 2012 Hilton Houston Plaza Invitational.

Five position starters, all four pitchers and 14 letterwinners return the majority of production from last year's 35-24 (15-9 C-USA) team. Five newcomers join preseason Conference USA Player of the Year Haley Outon and first-team all-conference selections seniors Holly Anderson and Reina Gaber.

The junior Outon led the team in batting en route to establishing new school records in the home run (22) and RBI categories while the trio combined for a .360 batting average, 188 hits and 133 RBI.

Freshman Jaime Edwards made the C-USA All-Freshman team batting .325 with and RBI every five at bats before her rookie campaign was cut short with an injury. The native of Austin (Texas) returns healthy and rejoins starters fellow infielder Kendra Cullum who made 51 starts at shortstop in her first year with the program. Cullum's claim to fame in 2012 came the hard way as the Conroe (Texas) native took first base care of the bean ball 21 times to set a school record.

Junior Bailey Watts, a 2010 C-USA All-Freshman selection, leads Houston in the pitching circle bolstered by a young but experienced pitching crew including junior Diedre Outon, sophomores Summer Groholski and Ty'ara Law. The group threw every pitch last year and welcome freshman Julana Shrum to the mix.

Mizzou transfer and Pearland (Texas) native Taylor Duplechain, freshman Katie St. Pierre (Flower Mound, Texas), Jessica Snyder (The Woodlands, Texas) Tess Soefje (Frisco, Texas) are set to earn their first UH letters this year.

Houston season tickets are now available online at UHCougars.com or by calling 713-GO-COOGS. Houston Cougar Softball season tickets are flex tickets which allows a single admission for every home game, or the entire lot of 35 for a one-time price of $75.

Follow along with Houston Cougar Softball this season on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Stay tuned to UHCougars.com for live stats and news on the program.

Haley Outon - Preseason Player of the Year, Preseason First Team (C) Holly Anderson - Preseason First Team (IF) Reina Gaber - Preseason First Team (DP)

Houston received three votes in the 2013 NFCA Preseason Poll after being voted to their first preseason poll in 2012 at No. 20. The 2012 National champions Alabama Crimson Tide and runner up Oklahoma Sooners hold the top two spots this year and Houston has a game on the schedule this year with both including a home game against the champions March 27.


Category		Rank	Per Game
Batting Average		16	0.31
Scoring			39	5.1
Home Runs per game	36	0.9
Stolen Bases per Game	10	1.85
Slugging Percentage	22	0.47
Double Plays per Game	16	0.44

Home runs Rank Per Game Haley Outon 7 22.0

Home Runs Per Game Rank Per Game Haley Outon 6 0.37

Runs Batted In Per Game Rank Per Game Haley Outon 17 1.08

Slugging Percentage Rank Per Game Haley Outon 21 0.809

Hit by Pitch per Game Rank Per Game Kendra Cullum 12 0.39

The Cougars have made it a habit to push back the summer break plans with four postseason berths in the past six years and two Super Regional appearances. Last year, Houston extended their NCAA Regional consecutive win streak to seven games before dropping the next two games in the Austin Regional.

Last year Houston grabbed a school-record 111 steals in a season and seven in a game (vs. UNLV). Last Leading base thief last year, Ashleigh Jones (22 steals), graduated last semester and forgo her final season of eligibility. Holly Anderson (19), Haley Outon (10), Kendra Cullum (9), Sydney Gerbracht (8) and incoming speedy newcomer class could still spell havoc for catchers this year.

Houston hosts the Hilton Houston Plaza Invite next weekend Feb. 15-17 with DePaul, Illinois and Texas coming to town.



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