Cougars show no Southern hospitality
The UH softball team swept Southern in a doubleheader Thursday evening at the Fourth Annual Striking Out Breast Cancer Game.
The Cougars rolled to a dominant run-rule 8-0 (5 inn.) win in the opener before barely holding on for a 8-7 victory in the nightcap.
In the first game, the teams were scoreless until UH got going in the bottom of the third. Freshman Brooke Lathan started the frame with a solo home off Southern pitcher Lanaya Jenkins, and the Cougars scored five more runs in that inning to make it 6-0.
UH (10-9) scored twice more in the fifth inning to end the game. Freshman Bailey Watts allowed only one hit and struck out 11 batters in five innings to improve to 6-0.
The Cougars did not have it so easy in the finale. UH held an 8-2 lead heading into the top of the seventh, but Southern scored five runs in that frame off starter Baillie Lott to pull within one.
Lott struck out Kesha Tauriac with the bases empty to end the threat.
The righthander improved to 2-2, but allowed nine hits and seven runs (five earned).
“As a whole, they did exactly what we asked them to do,” head coach Kyla Holas said. “But right at the very end of the second game we let up just that little bit. It cost us.
“That is something that this young team has got to understand — that you play 14 innings, not 13 and one out.”
Southern (0-16) started the second game aggressively, scoring two runs in the top of the first. But the Cougars evened the score with two runs in the bottom of the second.
The Cougars scored two in the fifth and four more in the sixth to take an 8-2 lead before having to sweat in the top of seventh.
UH has only one day to prepare for its Conference USA opener against Southern Miss. The Cougars will face the Golden Eagles in a doubleheader Saturday before ending the series Sunday.
Southern Miss (12-6) has not fared well lately. The Golden Eagles are on a two-game losing streak and have lost four of their last five contests.
UH pitcher Amanda Crabtree will start the opener at 1 p.m. Saturday at Cougar Softball Stadium.
“Southern Miss have been in the conference a long time, and they have a really young team still,” Holas said. “They are real aggressive, and they are going to have some power, so we are going to have to be the best we can be.”