Feb. 9, 2012
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball program opens up the 2012 season this weekend as they host the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic. The opening day tournament features six games for the host Cougars with two games per day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The No. 20 Cougars open up the season at 3 p.m. on Friday against North Texas and a 5 p.m. game against Texas A&M - Corpus Christi. Houston dropped a double-header to the Islanders last season before they raced to a 28-7 record down the remained of the season.
On Saturday, Houston faces a tough test against a familiar foe as they face No. 11 Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. The Cowgirls and Cougars faced off last year in the Stillwater Super Regional as Oklahoma State ended Houston's dreams of reaching the College World Series. The Cougars take on Sam Houston State at 3 p.m.
The Cougars close out the weekend tournament with an 11 a.m. game against North Texas and a 1 p.m. showdown against Sam Houston State on Friday.
With the season just a day away, head coach Kyla Holas and the team are ready for tomorrow to arrive.
"We've been practicing for so long you just get to that point where you don't know if you're ready but you know you can't keep doing the same thing we've been doing," said Holas. "We're really excited to get going tomorrow."
The Cougars are coming off a season when they won a share of the regular season title en route to advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals. The squad last year relied on the senior pitching duo of Amanda Crabtree and Donna Bourgeois. This year's teams will look to score more runs with a potent offensive line up that returns six of Houston's top hitters last year.
Heading into the offseason, the staff knew they would have to find new ways to win games with the departed pitching duo and improving the team's speed and athleticism has been a focus for Holas and staff.
"I hope our speed shows up this weekend. We should be more aggressive on the bases, getting to balls in the field and making the extra effort to make a play. We've focused a lot of our preseason practices on improving that aspect of the game within ourselves and I hope to see our hard work pay off."