HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Softball team returns to American Athletic Conference play with a three-game series at USF starting Friday.
Sunday's game will be streamed via the American Digital Network on Facebook Live with Lincoln Rose on the call and 2012-15 Houston letterwinner Sydney Gerbracht providing analysis.
|UP TO THE PLATE|
| Houston (23-12, 3-3 The American) at USF* (27-14, 5-1 The American)
USF Softball Stadium | Tampa, Fla.
| Live Stats: Game 1, Game 2, Game 3|
Live Stream: Game 1, Game 2, Game 3 (American Digital Network)
Houston, which is 23-12 on the season and 3-3 in The American, is coming off a 3-1 win over Texas in its 12th Annual Striking Out Breast Cancer Game on Tuesday. Sophomore first baseman Kelli Montgomery recorded her first career home run with a three-run shot in the bottom of the first.
On the season, the Cougars are outscoring the opposition, 162-89.
Houston leads The American in hit by pitch (31), while senior left fielder Kaylin Crumpton holds the top individual mark with 13, tied for 11th in the NCAA. Sophomore second baseman Arielle James (7) and junior catcher Brooke Vannoy (6) are tied for third and rank fifth in HBP, respectively.
Entering the weekend, James leads the team and is third in The American in hits (44) and tied for first in doubles (10), while sophomore third baseman Sarah Queen is tied four fourth in home runs (6) and ranks sixth in batting average (.383) and slugging percentage (.607). As a team, Houston is batting .290.
In the circle, junior Savannah Heebner leads the Cougars with a 15-4 record and 0.74 ERA. Heebner's ERA leads The American and sits seventh in the NCAA, while her total wins rank third in the conference and 13th nationally. On the season, she has tossed seven shutouts, a mark that is tied for eighth in the nation. She also leads the league in opponent batting average (.185). Pitchers Presley Bell (3-3) and Trystan Melancon (5-5) have 2.26 and 2.91 ERAs, respectively. The staff carries a 1.66 ERA, a mark that leads The American and sits 14th in the NCAA.
Prior to the season, Houston was tabbed second in The American Preseason Coaches' Poll, garnering two first-place votes.
The Last Meeting
May 7, 2017
Cougar Softball Stadium
ON THE OPPONENT
Houston is 14-17 all-time against USF and 5-6 in visits to Tampa, Fla.
The Bulls enter the weekend with a 27-14 overall record and 5-1 mark in American Athletic Conference play, tied atop the standings. Having not played a midweek game, USF is coming off a 2-1 series win at Memphis.
On the season, the Bulls are hitting .298 as a team and lead The American in slugging percentage (.455) and home runs (35). As a staff, USF owns a 2.68 ERA.
Lindsey Devitt leads the team with a .376 batting average and 32 RBI. In the circle, Cheyenne Eggens ranks second in the league in ERA (1.11). Eggens is 7-1 with two saves.
The Bulls are led by Head Coach Ken Eriksen. He is 895-460-1 in his 22nd year at the helm. Eriksen, who has served as the head coach of Team USA since 2010, is USF's all-time winningest coach across any sport.
The Bulls were tabbed third in The American Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Following the weekend series, the Cougars will play a doubleheader at Lamar on Wednesday. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
COUGAR SOFTBALL STADIUM UPGRADES
Thanks to a record year for the Diamond Club, Houston Softball announced the addition of an LED, Daktronics video board (completed) and indoor practice facility as major upgrades to Cougar Softball Stadium.
According to Daktronics, the new outfield video board will be the fifth largest at an on-campus softball stadium in the country and the largest in the state of Texas. The board, which will sit just beyond the left-field wall, will stand 29-feet-3.1-inches tall and measure 24-feet-4.0-inches wide with 576 square feet of space (24-feet by 24-feet) for live video, instant replays, statistics and scoring information, graphics and animations, and sponsor messages. The display features a 13HD pixel layout for crisp, clear imagery for a great view from every seat at the stadium.
The indoor facility, which will replace the current batting cage down the right-field line, will measure 70-feet by 80-feet. The 5,600-square-foot space will feature five batting cages, measuring 60-feet long by 15-feet wide each, with retractable nets for the space to be used in a variety of ways. The facility will have a synthetic turf floor and will be temperature controlled.
In total, the two capital projects represent $1.2 million in upgrades.
The Houston Athletics Ticket Office is once again proud to offer the Shasta Pass for the 2017-18 season. For just $80, Cougar fans can purchase one Shasta Pass, which allows season-long general admission entrance to all Houston Volleyball, Soccer, Women's Basketball and Softball home games.
The Shasta Pass offers Houston fans a substantial saving as single-game tickets start at $5 for all four sports. To purchase a Shasta Pass, call 713-GO-COOGS or CLICK HERE.
JOIN DIAMOND CLUB
Fans can help support the Houston Softball program by joining the Diamond Club. To find out more information about the Diamond Club, visit UHCougars.com or call Cougar Pride at (713) 743-GoUH. For more information, CLICK HERE.