Softball Hosts League Leader UAB This Weekend
May 3, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team welcomes UAB to town this weekend in the final Conference USA regular series showdown of the year. The series will determine the C-USA regular season championship with Houston (35-16, 17-4) needing a sweep over UAB (35-13, 18-2) to claim their fourth league title.
Saturday's doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. with Senior Day honoring the Cougars three seniors (Holly Anderson, Reina Gaber and Julia Pecina) taking place in between the two games. Sunday's contest starts at noon.
LAST TIME OUTHouston swept Memphis last weekend and third baseman Holly Anderson homered in each game en route to earning C-USA Hitter of the Week accolades. Junior pitcher Diedre Outon took conference Pitcher of the Week awards with a 2-0 record and a save.
The Cougars split the series at No. 21/14 Baylor. Outon also picked up a win against the Bears throwing a complete game and allowing only one earned run before tied her career high with nine strikeouts at Memphis.
PROMOTIONSSenior Day Presentations honoring the Cougars' three seniors (Holly Anderson, Reina Gaber and Julia Pecina) will take place between games on Saturday. The first 300 fans through the gate will receive free Houston Sunglasses Holders and before Saturday's 1 p.m. contest a check presentation for $11,655 will be given to Deana Hyma of Susan G. Komen the Houston Affiliate for the Cougars Striking Out Breast Cancer game. Following both games over the weekend, an autograph session will take place on the field.
ON HOUSTONThe Cougars have won six of seven C-USA series including four sweeps (Southern Miss, ECU, UTEP, Memphis). Over the last 10 games, Houston has played teams ranked in seven of those games and have posted a 6-4 record as of late.
As a team, Houston ranks first in the league in slugging (.446) and on base percentage (.405) while checking in at No. 2 in the league in batting (.294). Houston leads the league in doubles (77) and is tied with UAB for the second-most home runs (36).
Haley Outon leads all conference foes in slugging (.793), on base (.503), home runs (15), RBI (57), doubles (13), total bases (111), walks (39). Holly Anderson is second in the league in batting average (.387), slugging (.677), runs (40), RBI (45), home runs (11) and total bases. Kendra Cullum is leading the nation in hit by pitches (30) and pacing the league in runs scored (45).
ON UABUAB (35-13, 18-2) enters the weekend series winners of five straight games including three midweek games (Jacksonville State and Chatanooga) and took two from Marshall over the weekend.
UAB possesses the second lowest ERA (1.96) in the league led by a trio of pitchers in Lauren Webster (11-3, 1.67), Lannah Campbell (1.91, 11-4) and Leigh Streetman (2.29, 12-6). The group has thrown every inning for UAB this year and Webster leads the team with 142 strikeouts.
Leadoff batter Caitlin Attfield leads the team with a .385 batting average, good for third in C-USA. She also paces the team in steals with 22-of-32 on the year. Eight Blazers have contributed multiple home runs on the year as Kristen McGrath (11) and Anna Kimbrell (9) have added 20 of the 36 long balls on the year.
ALL-TIME SERIESHouston owns the lead in the all-time series with a 23-14 record against the Blazers and took the series last year 2-1, ending an eight-game losing streak to UAB. Before the losing streak begun, Houston had posted nine-straight wins over UAB dating from 2006-09.
LOOKING AHEADHouston heads to Tulsa, Okla., for the Conference USA Championships May 9-11 at Collins Family Softball Complex. The Cougars could be the No. 1, 2 or 3 seed depending how this weekend fares for the home squad.
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.
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 39 walks to rank No. Outon ranks No. 20 in the NCAA in walks per game (0.77) and is the all-time season leader in UH program in intentional walks with nine this year. Outon needs four more walks to break the school record this year.
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 first semester working on her masters in education.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT (FIRE AWAY)Kendra Cullum leads the nation with 30 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. 4 in NCAA history with 57 in her career. She needs five more to move into a tie for third place with Cheryl Wyrick (Liberty - 62).
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 WEEKHolly Anderson, C-USA Hitter of the Week (April 29, 2013)
Diedre Outon, C-USA Pitcher of the Week (April 29, 2013)
Haley 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)
RPIHouston enters the weekend No. 37 in the most recent RPI, one spot behind UAB at No. 36. The Cougars are 6-10 against Top-52 teams this year including an 0-4 mark coming against No. 1 OU, No. 2 Texas and No. 7 Alabama.
GRAND SLAMMINGHaley Outon launched two grand slams against UTEP in UH's 10-7 win on April, 13 en route to establishing a new program record with eight RBI in the game. Outon was just the sixth player in NCAA history to accomplish that feat and was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week following her performance.
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 Tulsa, Okla. next week for the C-USA Championships taking place May 9-11.