April 17, 2014
|HOUSTON (28-12 | 11-1) vs. USF (30-13 | 4-5)|
|Tickets||UHCougars.com | 713-GO-COOGS|
|Time||Friday, April 18 | 1 and 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 19 | 12 p.m.
|Location||Cougar Softball Stadium|
|Live Stats||Game 1 | 2 | 3|
|Live Video||Game 1 | 2 | 3|
|Series History||USF leads, 10-9|
|Game Notes||» Houston Notes
» USF Notes
» American Notes
HOUSTON - Houston Softball hosts USF this Friday and Saturday for a three-game American Athletic Conference series at Cougar Softball Stadium, The Cougars ( 29-12 | 11-1) and Bulls (30-13 | 4-5) play a doubleheader on Friday at 1 and 3 p.m. and conclude the series on Saturday at 12 p.m.
Easter @ Cougar Softball Stadium - Easter Egg Hunt and autograph session on the field post game
LAST TIME OUT
UH picked up a pair of wins at Lamar on Wednesday wining 5-2 and 7-1 against the Lady Cardinals. Diedre Outon scored twice and picked up the win throwing a season-high six strikeouts in game one before Julana Shrum held LU to a two-hit total and Haley Outon drove in four runs to earn the sweep.
Houston won the last conference series at Memphis 2-1 taking both games Saturday in a 12-5, 11-inning win and 9-0 victory before falling 6-5 in the seventh inning on Sunday.
Saturday's 11-inning affair was the Cougars second of the week after taking on No. 13 Baylor and splitting the series with the Bears. Julana Shrum took a no hitter into the eighth inning before surrendering three hits and runs with the Bears winning the first game 3-0. Houston rebounded with a 3-2 win in the nightcap.
Haley Outon was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll for the third-straight week going 6-for-15 with two home runs before being pitched around with six intentional walks over the weekend.
USF leads the all-time series 10-9 with this the first meeting between the two teams since 2005. The Bulls took three of five games that season. Houston won the last meeting 4-3 during the C-USA Tournament held in Tampa.
ON HOUSTON (28-12 | 11-1)
The Cougars are in first place in the American Athletic Conference having won the first 11 of their first 12 games to start league play. The 11-1 start matches the 2008 squad for the best start to conference play in program history following Houston's 11-game winning streak to open the American league play.
Haley Outon paces the program in the power categories with 12 home runs and 43 RBI as she continues to improve upon her school career records. Outon has hit two home runs in the same game on consecutive weekends connecting on two against Memphis and UConn the past two weeks. The Outon sisters have hit multi homers in three straight weeks including Deidre's two-homer effort against Louisville.
The cleanup batter, Outon, has three batters above .300 ahead of her with Katie St. Pierre (.416), Tiffani McKnight (.359) and Selena Hernandez (.312) setting the table. Hernandez ranks second in the league with 31 RBI and leads the team at 13 doubles. St. Pierre's sports a team-best .511 on base percentage.
Diedre Outon leads the UH pitching staff 13-5 record with a 2.33 ERA. The senior now has 42 career wins ranking fifth all time in program history. Julana Shrum has steadily improved as the season has progressed lowering her ERA two full runs over the past month bringing it down to 3.26 and carries a 10-4 record.
Houston leads the conference in home runs (35) and scoring (240) while No. 19 in the nation with 6.32 runs per game. During conference play, Houston has batted .340 to lead the league and sports the second-best ERA at 2.38. The defense ranks No. 7 in double plays per game (0.53) across the NCAA
ON USF (30-13 | 4-5)
USF enters the weekend series with a 30-13 record and travel for their first true road game having played all 43 games in the state of Florida. The Bulls are 4-5 in the American checking in at fourth in the standings. The Bulls are coached by Ken Eriksen in his 17th season at USF.
Senior Sarah Nevins and the USF pitching staff lead the nation with 370 strikeouts and carry the second-best ERA in the league at 1.87 for No. 19 in the NCAA. Nevins is 18-7 on the year with 206 strikeouts backed up by Erica Nunn's 9-6 mark, 2.39 ERA and 115 strikeouts.
The Bulls carry five batters above .300 with Ashli Goff's .382 leading the herd. Goff is 9-for-11 in steals and reaches base a team-best .460 on the year. Kourtney Salvarola is second in the American with her 11 home runs and leads USF with 25 RBI.
Houston moved up 3 spots in the latest RPI climbing to No. 31 after going 3-2 last week. The Cougars have an 8-8 record against Top 50 RPI opponents this season facing six Top 20 opponents with a 3-6 mark against those teams.
Head coach Kyla Holas picked up her 500th win leading Houston to a 12-5 win in 11 innings over Memphis on April 12, 2014. She has been at the helm for all 500 of the Cougars wins and earned the 200th conference victory over the Tigers with the win.
DODGE, DUCK, DIP, DIVE, DODGE...OR DON'T
Kendra Cullum was a three-sport athlete at Conroe High School but dodgeball was not one of those. Cullum has taken a beating on her way to first base as she's totaled 83 hit by pitches in her career including 77 while wearing the Red and White. She set a school record with 21 bean balls in 2012 and then broke her own mark in 2013 with 38 bean balls. The 38 bean balls rank as the third-most in a NCAA single-season.
Cullum moved into second place in the NCAA history for career hit by pitches (1. 92 Mariah Gearhart, Oklahoma State) when she took three body shots against Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 16, 2013. She's been hit multiple times in a game 18 times and the beanball to move into second place was her second of the inning. Against Northwestern (May 19) in the 2012 NCAA Regionals, Cullum was hit by a pitch four times to set another program record in the category.
Houston was recognized as one of the 2013 NFCA Top Ten All-Academic Teams. UH ranked eighth in the nation with a 3.53 cumulative team GPA which was an all-time record for the Cougars. Houston softball tied for the UH sport program lead with a fall semester GPAs of 3.48 while sporting the second-highest cumulative GPA behind the tennis team. Haley Outon earned the Team's Academic MVP and was named to the Conference USA All-Academic Team.
Ten Cougars earned NFCA All-American Scholar Athletes in 2012-13 (Holly Anderson, Jaime Edwards, Reina Gaber, Sydney Gerbracht, Ashleigh Jones, Diedre Outon, Haley Outon, Katie St. Pierre, Tess Soefje and Bailey Watts)
Haley Outon has established herself as the program's premier long-ball hitter as she moved into first place in the record books with her 48th career home run against Nicholls State on Feb. 22. Outon's fifth home run of the year added to her impressive weekend where she went 6-for-13 (.462) with three home runs, nine RBI and seven walks. Outon now holds the career and single season (22, 2011) Houston records.
She also shares two NCAA records thanks to her power prowess. She became the fifth player in NCAA history with home runs in six-straight games (May 1-11, 2012) and the eighth to hit two grand slams in a single game (April 13, 2013 at UTEP).
In all, Haley has totaled 54 home runs and 183 RBI in her career to rank first in program history and No. 4 and 5 among active players in the NCAA.
Twice this year Haley has hit multiple times in a game (at Memphis, April 12 and at UConn, April 5) joining her sister Diedre as the only Cougars to hit multiple home runs in a game this season - a feat they accomplished three straight weeks.
FACING TEXAN COMPETITION
The Cougars carry a 8-3 record against fellow Texan teams this season with wins over Texas (5-4), Texas A&M (2-1), Baylor (3-2), Sam Houston State (11-5, 13-5), SFA (7-3) and Lamar (5-2, 7-1). The Lone Star State losses came to Baylor (0-3), North Texas (1-6) and Texas (1-5). The Cougars have four games remaining against teams from inside stateliness facing Houston Baptist and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
For the first time since 2011 and the second time in program history, Houston recorded wins over Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor in the same season.
Six starters for Houston have been on the lineup card for all 40 games this year in their respective positions - Kendra Cullum (LF), Katie St. Pierre (CF), Selena Hernandez (SS), Kayla Holland (2B), Jaime Edwards (1B) and Haley Outon (C). St. Pierre and Outon started all 61 games at both of their positions in 2013 while Outon has started 180 consecutive games dating back to April 9, 2011. The catcher started the last 20 games of 2011 (56 overall), all 59 games in 2012, all 61 in 2013 and 40 this season. Outon is the only batter in the lineup to hold the same spot (cleanup) all season-long.
LEADING THINGS OFF
Houston is 13-2 on the season when scoring inthe first inning having outscored their opponents 31-16. When scoring first, Houston is 20-3 on the year. The most productive inning thus far has been the third with Houston outpacing the opposition 64-22 the second time through the line up. The team as a whole bats reaches base at a .473 clip when leading off an inning led by Kendra Cullum's (.696) and Katie St. Pierre's (.639) averages.
LOOKING BACK TO 2013
Houston went 41-20 advancing to its third-straight NCAA Regional for the first time in program history. The Cougars competed in Conference USA for the 13th and final season while finishing second during the regular season (19-5) and tournament. The schedule included a 12-14 against tournament teams during the year including the results at the Austin Regional where UH went 1-2 with a win against Army while falling to South Carolina twice.
HBU comes across town next Wednesday for a doubleheader for the Cougars travel to Orlando for a series at UCF.