Cougars hungry for home cooking
The UH softball team challenges a fierce No. 9 Georgia Tech in a non-conference doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Cougar Softball Stadium.
“I do not think that Georgia Tech is the best team we have ever faced, we have faced some real good teams,” said head coach Kyla Holas. “But this year they are the best team on our schedule.”
Practice on Monday consisted of hitting drills, but it will take more than a strong offensive showing to beat a top-10 team like Georgia Tech.
“(We’ll need) good pitching and some timely hitting,” Holas said. “We cannot allow extra things to happen. They have good hitters, and anytime you give a good team something extra they will capitalize on that.”
Georgia Tech (24-4) is returning 16 letter winners and is coming off a victory over a top-25 opponent, North Carolina. The Cougars (15-12) have beaten ranked opponents before and hope to do so today.
“We have to make sure that we play our best,” Holas said. “We have to show up and decide that we’re going to play with teams like that instead of just showing up and letting them beat us.”
But Holas acknowledges that it will take more to win against Georgia Tech than overcoming the Cougars’ tendency to beat themselves.
“When you get to the point to where you are top-10 in the country,” Holas said, “it’s because you can do all three things every single day.”
UH is coming off its first Conference USA road trip of the season, which ended in three consecutive losses. Holas said that the performance in Orlando last weekend was the team’s lowest point since the beginning of the year, so the players are looking to bounce back in the five-game home stand, starting with Tuesday’s game.
Junior pitcher Amanda Crabtree (5-6) would normally start against such a highly ranked opponent, but she is still shaken up from Sunday’s loss to conference opponent UCF.
Replacing her on the mound will be freshman Bailey Watts, who is 8-4 this season.
Coach Holas would like a victory against Georgia Tech, but she has her eyes set on this weekend’s series against conference opponent UTEP.
“We are not getting to regionals based on our regular season play,” Holas said. “You have to do it through your conference.”