No. 23 Houston Heads to Waco for Baylor's QTI Powers Invitational

    Sophomore shortstop Brooke Lathan leads the team with five homeruns in the first two weeks of the season.
    Sophomore shortstop Brooke Lathan leads the team with five homeruns in the first two weeks of the season.
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    Feb. 24, 2011

    QTI Powers Invitational Tournament Central | Game Notes | Ticket Information

    HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team will go after its tenth victory and then some this weekend when the Cougars travel to Waco, Texas for the QTI Powers Invitational.

    After posting the best weekend in program history a week ago, Houston (9-2) will look to repeat its success in Baylor's annual spring tournament, Feb. 25-27. Houston opens play against Sam Houston State at 12:30 p.m., Friday. The Cougars will go on to face Central Arkansas then Louisiana-Monroe twice before closing the weekend against tournament host Baylor.

    No. 23/23 HOUSTON (9-2)
    A day after busting into the national rankings in both Division I polls, Houston snapped an eight-game win streak at the hands of Sam Houston State in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday evening. Senior right-hander Donna Bourgeois (3-2) tossed a brilliant effort, as the two runs the Bearkats used to win were unearned, but costly errors, an illegal pitch and a flat offensive effort caused the 2-0 defeat.

    Despite the loss, head coach Kyla Holas discussed that she was glad to have the weight lifted caused by the fear of losing, and was pleased with the way her team responded in game two.

    Playing to win, rather than playing not to lose, the Cougars bounced back in a big way in the nightcap against SHSU. They belted two home runs while senior Amanda Crabtree (5-0) threw a complete game no-hitter in the 6-1 victory.

    As the Cougars prepare for another five-game weekend, they do so with powerful pitching numbers and solid offensive leaders.



    Senior starters Bourgeois and Crabtree are holding down impressive numbers in the circle as the staff dipped under a 1.00 ERA on Wednesday night at SHSU.

    The defending Conference USA Pitcher of the Week, Crabtree has allowed just two earned runs in 34.0 innings of work for a staggering 0.41 ERA and a .069 opposing batting average. Bourgeois is making her presence known in her debut year with the Cougars, allowing only eight earned runs in 35.0 innings in the circle for a 1.60 ERA. In her only start of the season, freshman Diedre Outon (1-0) did her job, allowing no earned runs against Southern to keep her perfect 0.00 ERA in tact.

    The Cougars are off to a powerful start, compiling a .439 slugging percentage as a squad. The USA Softball National Player of the Week, sophomore Reina Gaber, is hitting a whopping .556 with six RBI. Senior Baillie Lott doubled her home run total from a year ago Wednesday night when she went yard for the fourth time this season. In nine starts in the designated player role, Lott is hitting .308 with nine RBI.


    SAM HOUSTON STATE (6-9) | Friday, 12:30 pm
    The Bearkats used a costly error and an illegal pitch to put together the two-run inning that defeated the Cougars when Houston came to visit for a midweek doubleheader on Wednesday. SHSU took the first game 2-0 before UH came back to collect the 6-1 victory in game two.

    AT THE PLATE Shortstop Shelbi Tucker was the only Bearkat hitter to put a hit on the board in both games, and had the only hit Crabtree allowed in game two on Wednesday. Sophomore outfielder Kim Damian is hitting at a .455 clip heading into the weekend, with 13 RBI in addition.

    Junior right-handed pitcher Tomi Garrision (4-4) earned the win against Houston in the first game of the doubleheader. Her 2.90 ERA is the lowest on the team by a large margin, as the staff is holding down a team ERA of 5.28. Her team-leading 40 strikeouts is 30 more than the second-place hurler.

    CENTRAL ARKANSAS (1-8) | Friday, 3 pm
    The Bears of Central Arkansas are coming off a tough weekend in the Quality Inn Classic hosted by Troy, where they posted a 0-4 weekend against Bradley, North Florida, Troy and Samford. UCA posted its first win of the season against Mississippi Valley on Feb. 16.

    Sophomore catcher Melanie Bryant has started all nine games for the Bears, posting a .448 batting average while knocking out one of the team's two total home runs. Junior Kasey Britt splits time at first base and in the outfield and leads the squad with nine RBI while hitting a solid .333.

    Sophomore right-hander Kelsie Britt (1-5) recorded the only UCA win so far this season and paces the team with 35.2 innings pitched. Her 30 strikeouts and 2.75 ERA also leads the Bears' pitching staff.

    LOUISIANA-MONROE (7-4) | Saturday, 12:30 pm | Sunday, 1 p.m.
    The Warhawks are coming off a 2-3 weekend at the New Mexico State Tournament last weekend, with both wins coming against Sam Houston State.

    Starting in all 11 games, junior Roxanne Cassel leads the club hitting .419 with 14 RBI and three doubles. Her defense has been flawless as well, posting a 1.000 fielding percentage in the opening weeks of the season. Sophomore infielder Janel Salanoa is the only Warhawk with mulitiple home runs (2). The Warhawks are hitting .282 as a team with a solid .364 on-base percentage.

    Tossing a team ERA of 2.70, ULM is led by freshman right-hander Stephanie Routzon's 1.29 ERA. She is 3-1 in her 21.2 innings of action. Redshirt sophomore righty Tiffany Mills (3-2) has taken on most of the workload, tossing 31.0 innings this season and racking up 20 strikeouts.

    RV/RV BAYLOR (11-0) | Sunday, 3 pm
    The Bears kicked off the season with wins against then-No. 24 Illinois on back-to-back days and have been rolling ever since en route to their flawless 11-0 start. Baylor is coming off a sweep of Louisiana Tech, taking both games via run rule, Tuesday evening.

    Senior shortstop Dani Leal was lethal against Louisiana Tech on Tuesday, going 4-for-7 with five RBI. Starting every game for the Bears, Leal is raking at a .500 clip with five home runs, 11 RBI and 11 runs scored. She is powering an already powerful offense. They head into the weekend hitting .319 as club, with 10 round trippers.

    Starters Whitney Canion (5-0) and Courtney Repka (4-0) each carry sub-one ERAs into their home tournament. Canion is pacing the pitchers with 31.2 innings of work, allowing just three earned runs. The sophomore lefty is efficient, striking out 59 batters and walking just nine this season. Repka will look to be just as dangerous. The right-handed sophomore has also surrendered only three earned runs to hang onto a 0.76 ERA.

    GameTracker is available for each of the Cougar games by clicking here.

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