Softball gets the sweep in their home opener series
The softball team had arguably its most dominant performance of the season this weekend, going undefeated in four games in the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational.
The Cougars outscored their opponents by a combined total of 19-1, relying on a complete team effort to improve their record to 8-4 on the season and sweep their opponents. The weekend series marked the Cougars’ first set of home games this season.
Junior starting pitcher Savannah Heebner kicked things off on Friday night by throwing a complete-game shutout against the Yale Bulldogs. In addition to allowing zero runs by the Bulldogs, Heebner recorded more strikeouts (four) than the number of hits she allowed (three).
On the other side of the ball, the team got major production from junior outfielder Maya Thomas and sophomore infielder Sarah Queen. They both recorded three runs-batted-in (RBI) for the game. Of those six total RBIs, four of them came in the bottom of the sixth inning, blowing open a game that had been at 2-0 until then.
In the first game of a doubleheader Saturday, the Cougars had to sweat it out through extra innings against the Syracuse Orange. The Cougars won after freshman infielder Caela Kincade hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth inning. Sophomore starting pitcher Trystan Melancon threw a complete game, and the Orange only managed to score a single unearned run.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Cougars faced the UNLV Rebels and recorded their second shutout of the weekend. The shutout again came via the arm of Heebner, who again recorded more strikeouts (five) than hits allowed (four). Heebner has now finished all four games she has started this season while only allowing a 1.06 earned-run-average (ERA).
Seniors infielder Mariah Garcia and outfielder Kaylin Crumpton each provided an RBI to give the Cougars a 2-0 victory.
On Sunday, junior pitcher Presley Bell took to the mound and threw seven scoreless innings in a complete-game shutout of the UTSA Roadrunners. In a five-run fifth inning, four different Cougars hit an RBI, including sophomore outfielder Lindsey Stewart and freshman utility player Tierrah Williams.
The Cougars scored seven runs of their own to walk away with a resounding win to cap a commanding performance over the weekend.
Nine different Cougars recorded at least one RBI during the Invitational this weekend. The weekend slate of games helped the pitching triumvirate of Heebner, Bell and Melancon all earn an ERA of sub-2.00.
The softball team will remain at Cougar Softball Stadium for their next four games. From Friday through Sunday they will compete as hosts of the Houston Red & White Showcase. First pitch for the opening game against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday.