Softball to take on Texas foes
The Cougars will continue their exhibition slate this weekend when they will play four games in the Spring Klein Girls Softball League College Classic at Collins Park in Spring.’
UH will play a doubleheader tomorrow against Galveston College and Texas at 2 and 4 p.m. and will complete the weekend with a doubleheader on Sunday against Baylor and Stephen F. Austin at 1 and 3 p.m., respectively. They enter the tournament after a four-game sweep in last weekend’s Sugarland College Classic.
This season the Cougars will be full of fresh faces as six seniors from last year’s team graduated, but head coach Kyla Holas said she believes this team will be just as competitive as in previous seasons.
‘These kids are great athletes and they work really hard everyday and we haven’t taken too far of a step back,’ Holas said.’
Freshmen Brooke Lathan and Holly Anderson as well as sophomore Mary Tyler Dobson are expected to be key contributors in the infield, replacing what was an experienced and talented core from last season. Sophomore Melissa Gregson is also expected to fill the shoes of three-year starter Elaina Nordstrom at catcher while freshman Ashleigh Jones will see playing time in the outfield.’
Holas is happy to see redshirt sophomore first baseman and clean-up hitter Jennifer Klinkert back in the fold this season after missing significant time during the 2009 season due to a torn ACL. Klinkert was the Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2008 after leading all C-USA freshmen in home runs, RBIs, total bases and walks. Her 14 homeruns in 2008 is the fourth most in UH single-season history.
‘(Klinkert’s) one of our captains and a leader on this team,’ Holas said.’ ‘She has by far the hardest work ethic, she’s a 4.0 student and any time she’s around you, you feel the bar raised significantly.’
Holas is also optimistic about the pitching staff, which boasts juniors Amanda Crabtree and Baillie Lott. Holas feels they have developed mentally, learning from a mediocre 2009 season and will be strengths for the team.’
Holas also said highly touted freshman Bailey Watts should be a big contributor. The Smithson Valley product led her high school team to two state championships and had a great showing in her debut last weekend, pitching seven strong innings with eight strikeouts. She only allowed three walks while giving up seven hits and only one run.
Although this weekend’s tournament is only an exhibition, Holas preaches that every game is a must win.
‘We have the mentality that whether it’s a practice or whether we’re in a game we expect to win,’ Holas said. ‘We expect to win championships here.’