Weekend recap: Baseball, tennis and softball pick up big wins
It was a busy weekend for the Cougars as both the baseball and softball teams had three home games, while women’s basketball competed in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament and tennis hosted a pair of matches to start a long home stand.
The No. 21 Cougars (6-5) got back on track with a 2-1 series victory over their in-state rival Baylor University Bears (6-5) at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park. After dropping Friday night’s opening game 2-4, they were able to end the five-game skid Saturday with a 10-4 thumping on the back of junior pitcher John King’s six-inning, six strike out performance, giving up only one earned run.
Houston took the rubber match 11-2 on the back of sophomore Seth Romero’s first start of the season, a five-inning gem where he gave up no runs on one-hit. The Cougar bats stayed hot on Sunday, totaling 11 runs on 13 hits with five home runs.
Freshman first baseman Joe Davis put on a hitting clinic in the series, going 5-13 from the plate with five runs scored, four RBI and two home runs in the final game. Sophomore catcher Connor Wong continued his hot start, going 5-16 in the series with five runs scored and two walks from the leadoff spot.
The Cougars season came to a close in Uncasville, Conn. following a 76-38 loss to Tulsa in the first round of the AAC tournament Friday night. Freshman standout Serithia Hawkins fell just one point shy of her fifth career double-double, leading Houston with nine points and 11 rebounds.
The Cougars were able to take an early lead and kept it competitive in the first quarter, ending the period down 17-14, but the Golden Hurricane would extend their lead to 10 by the end of the first half.
Tulsa continued to pour it on in the second half, outscoring the Cougars 46-18 in the final two quarters, ending the game on a 22-0 run.
The softball team ended tournament season going 1-2 in the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic held at Cougar Softball Stadium.
In the first game on Saturday, the Cougars (9-10) dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker to the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals (6-12) after giving up three runs in the top of the seventh after leading 2-1. Houston took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second following RBI by freshman Maya Thomas and senior Courtney Klingler. Freshman pitcher Savannah Heebner (2-5) took the loss for Houston after giving up three runs in one inning, despite getting three strikeouts.
UH bounced back with a 9-6 victory over Texas Southern University (6-7) in game two of the day. Houston took a 2-0 lead in the first and scored in every inning except the fourth, totaling nine runs on 14 hits, including a three-run homer by freshman outfielder Elise LeBouf. Junior pitcher Shelby Miller (2-0) picked up the victory for the Cougars, giving up five runs in five innings while striking out four.
Houston was unable to complete the sweep over Texas Southern on Sunday, falling 5-3 after giving up five runs in the first two innings. Senior pitcher Julana Shrum couldn’t get into rhythm early and was pulled after only 1.2 innings after giving up five runs on six hits and two walks.
The Cougars won their fourth-straight match with a 4-3 upset over No. 51 University of New Mexico on Saturday at the John E. Hoff Courts. The victory was secured in the final set of the final match where senior Maria Cardenas came from behind to pull out a 7-5 victory, taking the match 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
Juniors Despoina Vogasari and Tina Rupert added singles victories for the Cougars, Vogasari’s being her team-leading 16th singles victory of the season. The Cougars also secured the double point following victories by Vogasari and senior Rocio Martin, while sophomores Marnie Stokes and Mina Markovic took the first victory of the day.
UH dropped the back half of its double-header to No. 73 Brown University, 4-2. While the Cougars took the double point, sophomore Mina Markovic was the only one able to score a point in singles as the Cougars fell to 4-9 on the season.