May 4, 2012
The University of Houston softball program hosts Southern Miss in the final series of the regular season this weekend. Saturday's doubleheader will also include a Senior Day presentation in between games with senior student-athletes Melissa Gregson, Jennifer Klinkert and Kelly Lindley being recognized.
Saturday's games start at 1 p.m. with Sunday's finale beginning at noon. Preceding the 1 p.m. game, a check will be presented to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation for the Striking Out Breast Cancer game.
The first 250 fans who attend Saturday's game will receive a free t-shirt.
The Cougars hold the advantage in the all-time series with a 31-13 record. Houston has won seven straight and 16 of the last 18 games. The two teams met four times last season with UH outscoring the Golden Eagles 30-4.
Southern Miss throws Beth Dietrich (7-13) and Courtney Ramos (4-11) as the duo have combined to pitch for 242 of the 296 total innings on the year. Dietrich leads the club in strikeouts (78) and innings pitched (141).
Caroline Walker is the lone Golden Eagle batting above .300 as she paces the club with her .327 clip. Mackenzie Sher leads has three home runs to lead the team in that category and Houston native Leslie Lejune leads the team with 42 hits and 43 starts on the year.
LAST TIME OUT
Houston posted a 10-0 run-rule victory over UTSA on Tuesday. Houston used three home runs by Haley Outon, Sydney Gerbracht and Holly Anderson while Bailey Watts allowed only two hits in the circle for UH to get the win.
The Cougars were swept over the weekend by UCF, posting a season-low total for hits in a series (10).
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.
The Cougars rank No. 11 in the NCAA in steals at 1.88 per game. with three base thieves possessing double-digit totals (Ashleigh Jones 21, Holly Anderson 15, Hennifer Klinkert 12) and four more within striking distance at eight or nin
UH has turned the 16th most double plays at 0.44 per game, while being doubled up only twice by their opponents.
Houston also ranks No. 24 in batting average (.308).
STOLEN BASE RECORD
The Cougars have stolen 100 bases this year and set a new program record for steals in a year (74, 2008). The Cougars rank second in C-USA in steals this year.
Ashleigh Jones leads the pack with her 21 steals and is four away from tying current volunteer assistant coach Jessica Valis for the highest total in single-season history.
Houston also set the program single-game record for steals with seven against Nevada. UH was 7-for-7 in that game and has recorded six steals in three other games this year.
HALEY'S HOME RUNS
Haley Outon has hit a team-leading 17 home runs this year and that total ranks tied for second with Kristen Glowacz in program history. Laurie Wagener (19) holds the top two positions in the UH record books. The 17 home runs is the most hit by a catcher in the history of the program. Haley also ranks No. 14 in the NCAA in home runs.
Houston sits at No. 44 in the most recent softball RPI rankings.
SEASON STORY NOTES
Houston improved to 12-1 after the 10-0 win over UTSA when the Cougars leadoff batter scores in the first inning. The Cougars are 14-3 when leading after the first inning and 27-1 when up after the third frame.
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.
For the second year in a row, Houston set a program attendance record at the annual Striking Out Breast Cancer Game. The mark surpassed last year's crowd of 1,672,
CONFERENCE USA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Holly Anderson was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week (April 17) following her 9-for-16 showing at the plate to bat .562 during the week, and lead the league in steals (5) and runs (6). Houston went 4-1 against Texas A&M-CC and ECU that week, scoring 37 runs.
Diedre Outon was named the C-USA Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 13) after the opening weekend of play at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic. Outon went 2-0 with a save over four appearances.
Outon again earned the weekly honor (March 26) as she threw a no hitter against Memphis with eight strikeouts.
Reina Gaber was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week (Feb. 21) after hitting .571 (8-for-14) with six runs and five batted over the four games during the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational.
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.
The Houston pitching staff has thrown two no hitters thus far this year. Bailey Watts threw a hitless game against Louisiana Monroe, her second of her career, on Feb. 18. Diedre Outon tossed her first career no hitter on March 24 against Memphis in Houston's 8-0 win.
Seven freshman have made starts for Houston this year including Jaime Edwards who had started at first base every game this season until a season-ending injury at Tulsa. Another rookie, Jennifer Hooker, was inserted into the line up as Houston continues to gather experience in their newcomers.
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).
Houston heads to Birmingham, Ala. for Conference USA Championships beginning on May 10.