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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Softball

Houston avoids sweep in Tulsa


Sophomore Tierrah Williams had the key hit in the sixth inning to give Houston the game-winning lead. | Ahmed Gul/The Cougar

The Cougars managed to stop a five-game conference skid with a win over the Golden Hurricanes Saturday.

The Cougars came off a midweek win and were hoping to build some momentum after a 2-4 start in the American Athletic Conference.

Unfortunately for the Cougars, Tulsa won the first game of Friday’s doubleheader 10-6.

The Hurricanes struck first with one run, but the Cougars answered in the third inning with a two-RBI single hit by junior Sarah Queen.

The lead would not last long as Tulsa strung together a walk, two doubles, a single and a ground out to take a 4-2 lead.

That pattern continued with Houston scoring one or two runs and Tulsa then scoring two or three, and the lead ballooned to a 9-4 lead after Tulsa earned six hits and a home run across the fourth and fifth innings on the way to the win.

The second game of the series was different, as the pitchers dueled it out across seven innings.

Senior Savannah Heebner and junior Kassidy Scott went the distance for Houston and Tulsa, respectively, and only allowed nine hits and three walks combined.

Houston started the scoring this time when Queen hit another RBI single to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Heebner allowed just one hit until the third inning, when the team committed some crucial errors. She allowed a one-out double, then the fielders made two throwing errors on the next two hits to load the bases.

Under the pressure of runners in scoring position, Heebner walked the next batter, then Tulsa doubled to left field to make it 3-1 before the inning closed. The field made more errors in later innings, but Heebner was able to keep Tulsa’s score at 3.

Even though Heebner kept things under control on her end, Houston’s offense was cold and didn’t even manage to get a runner into scoring position for the rest of the game.

Houston had more success at-bat on the final day and won 4-3 to keep from coming home without a win in Oklahoma.

The squads traded runs in the third inning before Houston capitalized on mistakes made by Tulsa in the sixth.

Junior Arielle James singled with one out and then advanced on a wild pitch before Queen was walked. Heebner reached base on an error to load the bases, and then another error with sophomore Charese Wyatt up to bat scored James and Queen.

Sophomore Tierrah Williams followed up with a single to send home Heebner and take a 4-1 lead.

Tulsa struck back in the sixth with a leadoff home run, but senior Presley Bell regained composure and finished the inning 4-2.

The Hurricanes did not go quietly and had a single and a double to put runners on the corners with one out. A grounder to shortstop scored one and made it two outs before the final batter hit a bouncer straight to the first basewoman to end the game.

Houston is now 3-6 in the AAC while Tulsa is 7-2.

Houston will stick to the road and head to Austin to face the Texas Longhorns in in-state action. The Cougars are 9-0 against other Texas schools with wins over the Aggies, Bears and Bearkats.

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