Softball Faces No. 19/16 Baylor on Fox Sports SW
April 22, 2013
HOUSTON - Houston softball (31-15) travels to take on the No. 16/19 Baylor Bears (34-11) in the Cougars final away non-conference matchup of the year. The doubleheader will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest with first pitch coming at 4 p.m.
ON HOUSTONHouston is in a stretch of seven ranked games in a week with Baylor on deck and went 2-3 combined against No. 22 Tulsa and No. 25 Louisiana last week. Houston's 2-1 series win over Tulsa gave the Cougars sole possession of second place in the league.
The Cougars lead Conference USA in batting (.290) with three of the top six batters in the league. Haley Outon has moved into the team lead (.369) for the first time this year at No. 2 in the conference. Holly Anderson (.365) and Katie St. Pierre (.357) have been alternating at the top all year to sit at No. 3 and 6. The Cougars also lead the league in runs scored and have Kendra Cullum (40) with the most in the conference.
Outon also ranks first within the league in home runs (14), RBI (51), slugging (.811), on base (.518), total bases (99) and walks (38) and was named C-USA Hitter of the Week for the second consecutive time following her efforts last time out.
Junior hurler Bailey Watts leads the UH pitching efforts with her 16-4 record and a 2.15 ERA.
ON BAYLORBaylor is 34-11 on the year and 6-5 in Big 12 action putting them third in the conference. The Bears have three batters above .300 with the trio all above .380 - Kaitlyn Thumann (.389), Kathy Shelton (.385) and Sarah Smith (.381). Smith has a fifth of BU's 25 home runs for the team lead in the power category.
The Baylor pitching staff has compiled a 1.71 ERA ranking No. 10 in the NCAA. Whitney Canion has handled the most innings with 148.0 thrown on the year for a 18-6 record and 1.61 ERA. Heather Stearns has a 1.57 mark and a 10-4 record.
ALL-TIME SERIESHouston is 9-12 all time against Baylor going 2-1 against them the last season these two teams met (2011). Houston won 1-0 against the Bears in the finale of the Getterman/STI Classic and split a home doubleheader later in the year.
LAST TIME OUTHouston won the conference series over Tulsa 2-1 to move a game ahead of the Golden Hurricane in the league standings. Houston used a pair of walk off hits by Haley Outon in Saturday's sweep to win 4-3 and 3-2. Tulsa won Sunday's game 2-0 and UH dropped a road doubleheader to UL last Wednesday to go 2-3 over the week against the five ranked teams.
LOOKING AHEADHouston sits in second in Conference USA (14-4) with six games to go. The Cougars travel to Memphis )8-13) before hosting first-place UAB (16-2) to close out conference place the next two weekends. UH hosts Mississippi State to close out the year.
FOLLOW THE COOGSFollow along with Houston Cougar Softball this season on Facebook (HoustonCougarSoftball), Twitter (@UHCougarSB) and Instagram (houstoncougars). Stay tuned to UHCougars.com for live stats and news on the program.
PRESEASON ALL CONFERENCE USA TEAMHaley Outon - Preseason Player of the Year, Preseason First Team (C)
Holly Anderson - Preseason First Team (IF)
Reina Gaber - Preseason First Team (DP)
2013 C-USA Preseason Poll (1st place votes)1. Tulsa (6)
2. Houston (1)
6. East Carolina (1)
7. Memphis (1)
8. Southern Miss
BIG WEEKENDS FOR HALEYThe last two weekends have been huge for No. 4 batter Haley Outon. On April 13, 2013 against UTEP, Haley Outon became the sixth player in NCAA history to hit two grand slams in the same game en route to setting a school record with eight RBI in the game. The next weekend against Tulsa, Outon delivered two walkoff hits (Two-RBI single and solo home run) to take a pair of wins over Tulsa on Saturday.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT (FIRE AWAY)Kendra Cullum leads the nation with 26 hit by pitches. The junior has bested her own school record of 21 that she set last year. Including her six hit by pitches at Kansas her freshman year, the Conroe (Texas) native ranks No. 9 in NCAA history with 53 in her career.
The selfless shortstop also ranks first in the nation with 0.41 sacrifice hits per game.
WALKING HALEYLast year slugger Haley Outon received 14 bases on balls in 174 at bats while hitting 22 home runs (1 HR per 8 AB). This year, pitchers have steered clear of the cleanup hitter, giving out 38 walks while still collecting a home run (14) every nine AB.
Outon ranks No. 15 in the NCAA in walks per game (0.83).
RECORD GRADESThe current class of Houston Cougar softball members has increased the team's record GPA each semester since they arrive to campus and the incoming freshman class in the fall only added to that. Thirteen teammates made school honor roll while the team posted a 3.43 cumulative GPA and a 3.59 semester average.
Houston was bestowed with the 2012 Conference USA Sport Academic Award for the highest GPA in the conference as 18 members of the team made Commissioner's Honor Roll.
Every member of the team was named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll this year, including Bailey Watts who finished her degree in History last semester and is in her
WE'RE GOING STREAKING...NOTEarlier this year, Houston traveled to BYU and swept their fellow Cougars to end BYU's 42-game home non-conference winning streak that dated back to 2006. Houston also ended Marshall's 14-game winning streak earlier this season, the longest stretch in the Herd's history. Last year, Houston ended Texas A&M's 34-game home winning streak in 2012 which at the time was the longest in the NCAA.
C-USA PLAYER OF THE WEEKHaley Outon, C-USA Hitter of the Week (April 23, 2013)
Haley Outon, C-USA Hitter of the Week (April 15, 2013)
Holly Anderson, C-USA Hitter of the Week (March 11, 2013)
NOT SO FASTHouston leads the conference with only 12 steals allowed this season despite UH playing four of the top six NCAA leaders in the category (Alabama, Marshall, Purdue, Texas). Houston has also faced No. 13 UCF, No. 14 Texas Southern, No. 22 Lipscomb, No. 24 Jackson State. Haley Outon has thrown out six potential base thieves this season.
RECORD ATTENDANCECougar Softball Stadium set an attendance record of 1,793 against Alabama on March 27, 2013. The mark topped last year's record against Texas in Houston's 2012 Striking Out Breast Cancer Game of 1,785.
UP NEXTHouston travels to Memphis this weekend for their final road C-USA series of the year.