March 17, 2012
HOUSTON - The Cougars open home conference play as UTEP comes to Houston this weekend. UH took one game on the road from Marshall to begin league play and hold a 12-13 record on the season with a 1-2 Conference USA record last weekend.
After playing 13 of 15 games on the road, the Cougars are enjoying an eight-game homestand. The Cougars defeated Northwestern State 6-1 on Wednesday and host Memphis next weekend.
The Miners enter the weekend series with a 12-17 record. UTEP took two games from Southern Miss last weekend with all three being high-scoring affairs. UTEP prevailed over Southern Miss 13-12, 14-13 and lost 9-8.
Houston owns a 12-6 advantage over UTEP in the all-time series including winners of five straight. UH outscored the Miners 38-5 last year in El Paso. The series dates back to 2006.
LAST TIME OUT
Wednesday night saw the Cougars roll to a 6-1 victory over Northwestern State at home. Haley Outon hit a three-run homer to put the game away for Houston as she leads the team with six long balls on the season. Bailey Watts came in relief for Ty'ara Law and threw the next 6.1 innings allowing no runs for her fourth win a row.
Sydney Gerbracht launched her third pinch-hit home run of the year in the sixth inning.
Camilla Carrera leads the a heavy-hitting UTEP offense and paces C-USA with 17 home runs this season. Carrera has already set the UTEP single-season record for home runs and is chased by teammate Chelseas Troupe who has hit 12 homers. Together the duo have accounted for 29 of UTEP's 38 total home runs.
Carrera was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week last time out as she batted .577 driving in 19 runs and hitting seven homers.
Colleen Homan leads the UTEP pitchers with 14 starts and a 5.63 ERA.
FOLLOW THE COUGARS
Live stats for all games will be available at UHCougars.com or fans can follow @UHCougarSB on Twitter for live in-game updates.
Sunday is Camper Reunion Day at Cougar Softball Stadium and all summer campers who participated this past year get in free to Sunday's noon game.
SEASON STORY NOTES
400 Head coach Kyla Holas reached career and program win number 400 on opening day as Houston defeated Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 10-0. Holas had to wait an extra day to get a crack and No 400 as Houston's first scheduled game of the year against North Texas was cancelled due to rain.
Houston has faced four opponents (Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Louisiana) who were ranked this year, and have played a total of six games against those teams. Houston has posted a 2-4 record with the two wins coming against Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.
BEAT THE STREAK
Houston beat No. 21 Texas A&M in College Station earlier this year to end the Aggies NCAA-leading home-winning streak of 34 games.
Seven freshman have made starts for Houston this year including Jaime Edwards who has started at first base every game this season. Sydney Gerbracht ranks second among the rookies with ten starts coming at DP.
Big production from freshman is nothing new for Houston as nearly every returning starter has been named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team - Diedre and Haley Outon (2011), Bailey Watts (2010), Jennifer Klinkert (2008; Freshman of the Year) , Ashleigh Jones (2010) and Reina Gaber (2010).
The Cougars are slated to play two conference games on Fox Sports Network this year. The first televised matchup of the year will be when ECU visit Houston on April 14 at 2 p.m. The Cougars will also appear on TV the next Saturday on April 21 at 3:30pm when Houston travels to Tulsa.
The Cougars host the Memphis Tigers March 24-25 at Cougar Softball Field next weekend.