Softball Set for South Carolina at Austin Regional
May 15, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team begins its NCAA postseason run facing South Carolina on Friday at 3 p.m. to kickoff the Austin Regional. Houston (40-18, 19-5) opens as the home team and No. 2 seed facing the Gamecocks in the double-elimination regional matchup.
UH has gone 8-2 its last 10 games with a 7-4 mark against tournament-bound teams during the final stretch of the season to advance to the NCAA postseason for the sixth time in program history.
NCAA POST SEASON HISTORYThe 2013 bid is Houston's sixth overall (2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013) and marks the first time that UH has advanced in three straight seasons. Houston is 12-10 in NCAA post-season games with a 10-6 mark in NCAA Regional games and 4-2 specifically in Austin. Houston had won seven straight regional appearances spanning 2008 (3-0), 2011 (3-0) and beating Auburn 2-1 in 2012. Twice the Cougars have won their region (2008, 2011).
LAST TIME OUTHouston had two chances to capture a conference crown over a week stretch but came up short in both attempts. Houston took runner up at the Conference USA Championships its last time out, falling 3-1 to Marshall in the final. Houston used wins of 9-1 (5) and 3-0 over Memphis and Tulsa with Holly Anderson's three-run homer against TU sending the Cougars to the championship final. Anderson, Katie St. Pierre and Bailey Watts were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Needing a sweep over UAB in the final regular season series to win the overall title, Houston took two out of three against the Blazers and finished a half game out of first place with a 19-5 conference record.
WHERE TO WATCHAny game Houston plays against Texas will be aired exclusively on the Longhorn Network. For Houston games against South Carolina and Army, the games will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN3.
ON HOUSTONHouston sports a .291 team batting average and a .399 on base total. Four batters are above .300 with Holly Anderson (.374) leading the team and ranking second-best in C-USA. Katie St. Pierre (.369) and Haley (.350) the No. 3 and 5 batters in C-USA as well.
Haley Outon ranks first among the league in home runs (15), RBI (60), slugging (.731), total bases (117) and walks (41). Anderson is No. 2 in all the same categories behind Outon save walks and ranks first with 15 doubles. Kendra Cullum has the most runs (51) which is tied for a school record and the best on base percentage ((.489).
ON SOUTH CAROLINASouth Carolina went 32-23 with an 8-16 mark in SEC to finish . This is the 16th appearance for USC to the postseason and first since 2007.
Samie Garcia leads USC with a .412/469/.604 BA/OBP/slugging stat line. Garcia also has a team-leading 16 doubles and seven triples and was named Second Team All-SEC (SS). Two other Gamecocks bat above .300 in Dana Hathorn (.335) and Kristen Struett (.329).
In the circle for USC, Julie Sarratt has handled the most innings with a team-best 3.00 ERA an 11-7 record. Audrey Broyles (9-9, 3.81) and Katie Marks (3.43, 8-7) each have thrown over 89 innings this year.
SERIES NOTETwo of the nation's worst would-be dodge ball players will take to the field this weekend as Kendra Cullum leads the nation with 36 HBP and Dana Hathorn of USC has 23 and ranks No. 10.
Houston and USC shared three common opponents in Alabama, UCF and Mississippi State. UH went 3-2 against the three and USC had a 3-4 record.
ALL-TIME SERIESHouston is 2-0 all-time against Army, 0-1 against South Carolina and 4-18 against Texas with a 1-1 record in postseason play. Houston and USC met in 2009 at the Leadoff Classic with Houston falling 1-2.
ALL CONFERENCE TEAMPlayer of the Year: Haley Outon, Houston
Second Team All-Conference
HALEY WALKING AWAYLast 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 41 walks to rank the third most in a single season at UH and one shy of the school record (42). Outon ranks No. 34 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. She has also taken 10 intentional walks this year.
Outon walked off two wins - with a home run and two-RBI single - against Tulsa April 20 to give the Cougars the series win over TU earlier in the year.
RECORD GRADESThe current class of Houston Cougar softball members has increased the team's record GPA each semester since they arrived 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. Haley Outon (Health major) represented Houston on the 2013 C-USA All-Academic Team announced on May 7.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT (FIRE AWAY)Kendra Cullum leads the nation with 36 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. 3 in NCAA history with 63 in her career. Myesha Finney (Auburn, 67) and Mariah Gearhart (Oklahoma State, 92) rank ahead of her.
Cullum's 36 HBP rank second most for a single season in NCAA history (Cheryl Wyrick - 44). She has scored 16 times when reaching base on a HBP.
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. 32 in the last RPI rankings, moving up five spots during the last two weeks. The Cougars are 12-11 against Top-60 teams this year including an 0-4 mark coming against No. 1 OU, No. 3 Texas and No. 6 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.
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.
40 WINSWith a 40-18 record, Houston reached 40 wins for the fifth time in school history with all five coming within the past eight year. The program's best record was set by the 2008 team (54-11).
GOOD TIMES IN AUSTINHouston ran their Regional winning streak to seven games beating Auburn 2-1 to open the region last year. Houston swept through the 2011 Austin Regional winning a pair of games (7-2, 4-1) against Louisiana and beating Texas 1-0. Haley Outon had a pair of home runs against the Ragin Cajuns going 2-for-3 on the day and three RBI. Kendra Cullum set a C-USA record getting hit by a pitch four times against Northwestern last year.
DOUBLE TROUBLEHouston has collected 86 doubles this season ranking No. 20 in the NCAA. Holly Anderson tied the school record with 15 on the year and is joined in the double-digit total by four other teammates Haley Outon 14, Julia Pecina 13, Kayla Holland 12 and Reina Gaber 10). Anderson and Outon rank No. 1 and 2 in C-USA.
Additionally, there are three sets of twins on the team although Diedre and Haley Outon are the only duo for both to don the Red and White. Centerfielder Katie St. Pierre has a twin brother (Kyle, plays baseball at LSU Eunice) while current assistant coach Jessic Shimek patrolled the Houston infield during her playing days with her twin Holly Valis.
NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMSHouston went 11-12 against teams advancing to the NCAA post season including Texas (0-1), Oklahoma (0-2), Alabama (0-1), BYU (3-0), Marshall (1-3), Louisiana (0-2), Tulsa (3-1), Baylor (1-1), UAB (2-1) and Mississippi State (1-0). Four teams from C-USA qualified for the postseason (Houston, Marshall, Tulsa, UAB).
SITUATIONAL STATSHouston leadoff batters are .417 this year led by Sydney Gerbracht (.667) and Kendra Cullum (.630) averages. Haley Outon has a team-best 28 RBI with two outs and Kayla Holland ranks second with 10.
NCAA REGIONAL INFO TICKETSTo purchase tickets, visit TexasSports.com or call the UT Athletics ticket office at 512-471-3333. Tickets may also be purchased in person at Belmont Hall (M-F 9 a.m.-4 p.m.)
All-Session reserved - $32
UP NEXTThe winner of the Austin Regional plays the winner of the South Alabama Regional including USA (45-7), Mississippi Valley (24-26), Mississ