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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Softball

St. Pierre seeks strong second campaign


Sophomore outfielder Katie St. Pierre says a tight bond with her teammates had helped make a smooth transition from high school  |  File photo/The Daily Cougar

Sophomore outfielder Katie St. Pierre says a tight bond with her teammates had helped make a smooth transition from high school. | File photo/The Daily Cougar

Though she was only a freshman, outfielder Katie St. Pierre was a key part of the team last season as she set a UH record for highest freshman batting average at .376 and longest hit streak at 21 games.

The Flower Mound native came to the team prepared to step in and contribute. St. Pierre said she enjoyed the transition from high school because her teammates made it easier.

“It was a different atmosphere here. The team felt a lot closer than my high school, and I felt like this was a family,” she said.

After St. Pierre made a strong impact during her first year, helping UH earn a 41-20 record and reach the NCAA tournament, head coach Kyla Holas said she believes St. Pierre will continue to play a pivotal role.

“She shows up every day, and she’s that consistent player,” Holas said. “She’s had a whole year under her belt, and we’re really expecting her not only to lead the outfield, but also to offensively be that spark plug for us.”

Leading the team with 67 hits last season, St. Pierre is expected to help the Cougars transition to a new offensive philosophy.

“Last year, the main goal was doubles. This year, we’re wanting more power,” said senior catcher Haley Outon, who was named the 2013 Conference USA player of the year.

As a returning team leader, Outon said the Cougars need to work on communication and will need contributions from all 15 players to reach their goals.

St. Pierre plans to take on these jobs in stride while also growing into more of a leader by the time UH faces Sam Houston State on Feb. 14 for its season opener at Cougar Softball Field.

“We did a lot extra stuff last year, and this year, we’re looking to put in more work. I’m looking to communicate more and be more vocal in the outfield, especially,” St. Pierre said.

“We have a lot of newcomers this year, and we need to help them out as leaders.”

Though the team made the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season, the Cougars are preparing to put all of their effort toward an even better season.

“We’re looking to build on last year and get 60 wins this year,” St. Pierre said.

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