HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Softball team opens postseason play with the American Athletic Conference Championship, running Thursday-Saturday at USF Softball Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
The Cougars enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed and will play No. 7 seed ECU at 11:30 a.m. CT, Thursday in the Quarterfinals of the single-elimination tournament. The Semifinal Game for Houston's side of the bracket takes place at 1 p.m. CT, Friday against the winner of No. 3 seed Wichita State and No. 6 seed Tulsa, while the Championship Game is set for 11 a.m. CT, Saturday.
|UP TO THE PLATE|
| Houston (35-19, 13-8 The American) at The American Championship
USF Softball Stadium | Tampa, Fla.
| Quarterfinal: Live Stats | Live Stream|
Semifinal: Live Stats | Live Stream
Championship: Live Stats | ESPN2
All Quarterfinal and Semifinal Games will be broadcast via The American Digital Network on the conference's Facebook page and can be found here. Saturday's Championship Game will be carried on ESPN 2.
ESPN2 CHANNEL FINDER
Comcast: 34/634 HD
uVerse: 606/1606 HD
Direct TV: 209
Dish: 143 HD
Eric Lopez on the call and 2012-15 Houston letterwinner Sydney Gerbracht providing analysis.
Houston, which is 35-19 overall and 13-8 in The American, swept Memphis, 4-1, 7-4, 8-0 (five innings) to close the regular season.
After a dominating weekend, the Cougars are receiving two votes in the latest USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll. Houston previously received votes in Week 5, also garnering votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 in Week 2 and Week 3, respectively..
For their efforts last week, freshman designated player Tierrah Williams was named The American Player of the Week and junior pitcher Savannah Heebner was tabbed to The American Weekly Honor Roll. Williams led the Cougars with a 1.000/2.200/1.000 slash, finishing 5-for-5 with two home runs, including her second grand slam of the season, two walks, eight RBI and two runs scored, while Heebner posted a 2-0 record in the circle, compiling a 0.58 ERA across 12.0 innings pitched, including a one-hitter in Houston regular-season finale.
With two wins over the weekend, Heebner improved to 24-8 on the season and 48-26 in her career. Her 48 wins tie Bailey Watts (2010-13) for second all-time in program history. On Sunday, Heebner tossed her 12th shutout of the season with a one-hitter. Her 12 shutouts tie Angel Shamblin (2007) for the second-most all-time at Houston in a single season.
On the season, the Cougars are outscoring the opposition, 247-137.
Houston leads The American in hit by pitch (50), while senior left fielder Kaylin Crumpton holds the top individual mark with 20, tied for eighth in the NCAA. Sophomore second baseman Arielle James (15) and junior catcher Brooke Vannoy (6) rank second and tied for seventh in HBP in the conference, respectively. Houston also holds the top mark in walks (157).
Through the regular season, sophomore third baseman Sarah Queen led the conference in slugging percentage (.620), while tying for second in hits (63) and RBI (37), and third in home runs (10), as well ranking fourth in batting average (.380). Meanwhile, James tied for second in doubles (12), third in walks (26) and fourth in hits (62).
In the circle, Heebner leads the Cougars with a 24-8 record and 1.07 ERA. Heebner's ERA leads The American and sits 12th in the NCAA, while her total wins tie for second in the conference and 12th nationally. On the season, she has tossed 12 shutouts, a mark that is tied for the national lead. Heebner also leads the league in opponent batting average (.199). Pitchers Presley Bell (5-3) and Trystan Melancon (6-8) have 2.10 and 3.17 ERAs, respectively. The staff carries a 1.82 ERA, a mark that leads The American and sits 17th in the NCAA.
The Last Meeting
March 24, 2018
ON THE OPPONENT
Houston is 36-18 all-time against ECU and 1-0 when meeting in The American Championship.
Having dropped their final four games of the regular season, the Pirates enter the tournament with a 23-31 overall record and 8-13 mark in The American.
Tyler King leads the team in batting average (.277), Meredith Burroughs leads the team in home runs (13) and Tate McCellan holds the top mark in doubles (12) and RBI (33).
In the circle, Erin Poepping leads the team with a 13-15 record, and she and Mary Williams each own 3.38 ERAs, respectively.
The Pirates are led by Head Coach Courtney Oliver, who is 72-92 all-time in her third year at the helm.
Following the tournament, the NCAA Selection Show will air at 9 p.m. CT, Sunday on ESPN2.
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 is the sixth largest at an on-campus softball stadium in the country and the second largest in the state of Texas. The board, which sits just beyond the left-field wall, stands 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.