May 11, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of Houston softball suffered a 4-3 defeat to the No. 1 seed Tulsa on Friday in the Conference USA Championships semifinal game hosted by UAB. Haley Outon continued her hot streak as she homered in her sixth straight game that tied an NCAA record and also tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.
For the second straight day, Houston faced a C-USA co-Pitcher of the Year in TU's Lacey Middlebrooks. Houston ended the senior's streak of 31-scoreless innings as they mounted a comeback starting in the fifth inning.
TU jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Houston offense could get going in the fifth frame. With two outs and a full count, junior Jula Pecina drew a walk before moving around to third on a throwing error on Jennifer Hooker's at bat. With two runners in scoring position, Holly Anderson did not disappoint as she laced a double down the left field line and cut the deficit to 3-2.
Anderson went 2-for-4 in the game and started the contest with a single and would have Houston's second hit of the game with the double.
Haley Outon hit her 22nd home run of the year to tie the game up 3-3 in the sixth inning. Outon's home run was the second of the tournament and her 63rd RBI of the year, improving upon her school records in home runs and RBIs.
Bailey Watts started the game for Houston but was pulled for freshman Summer Groholski in the second inning after loading the bases and surrendering a two-run double. Groholski gathered the next two outs with help from center fielder Ashleigh Jones tracking down balls in the outfield to leave the two inherited runners stranded.
Groholski (8-6) finagled her way out of another bases-loaded situation after allowing one run to score in the fourth inning courtesy of an illegal pitch before buckling down with a strikeout to end the threat. The freshman received the loss for UH throwing 5.2 innings with four strikes outs and six walks.
TU regained the lead in their final at bat with three straight walks dealt by Groholski and a fielder's choice allowing the winning run to cross the plate.
Houston awaits their postseason fate with the NCAA Selection show running Sunday on ESPNU at 9 p.m.