UH softball splits series with Tulsa to close out the regular season
Houston softball closed out the regular season splitting a four-game weekend series against Tulsa to move to 17-32 heading into the American Athletic Conference tournament.
UH split the series opening doubleheader Friday, taking the first game 9-5 followed by a comeback effort falling short to drop the day’s second game 5-3 in extra innings. The Cougars responded Saturday with a 6-3 walk-off victory before dropping the series finale 3-2.
Here is a closer look at how each game went down:
After the Golden Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead in second inning, a big third inning got the Cougars’ bats going.
A solo blast from senior center fielder Aspen Howie tied the game to spark UH’s offense. Senior shortstop Rock Benavides added an RBI double followed by an RBI single from senior third baseman Sarah Queen to give UH a 3-1 lead.
After Tulsa responded with two runs in the fourth to knot the game up, senior designated player Tierrah Williams launched a two-run home run in the bottom half of the inning to put UH back on top.
Tulsa once again responded, plating two runs to tie the game again in the fifth.
UH answered in the bottom of the fifth thanks to an RBI double by junior right fielder Bethany Busch, which gave the Cougars a lead they would never surrender.
RBI’s from junior catcher Kati Ray Brown, Benavides and sophomore first baseman Britaney Shaw in the sixth sealed the 9-5 victory.
In the second game, UH struck first on a Shaw RBI single.
But Tulsa scored two runs over the next two innings to go up one.
The Golden Hurricanes kept the Cougars’ bats quiet to maintain the one run advantage up until the sixth inning when Queen evened things up with a solo shot to right center.
After a scoreless seventh inning on both sides, the game went into extra innings.
Answering a solo homer from Tulsa in the top of the eighth, Busch hit a home run of her own to tie the game to 3-3.
In the ninth, the Golden Hurricane tallied a pair of solo home runs which the Cougars failed to respond to in the bottom half of the inning to fall 5-3.
Knotted 3-3 heading to the bottom half of the inning, senior left fielder Lindsey Stewart-Vaughn wanted to make her mark in her final home series as a Cougar.
With two runners on and one out, Stewart-Vaughn sent a 2-0 pitch straight over the center field wall to deliver UH a 6-3 walk-off victory.
Things got going for the Cougars in the third inning with a two-run shot from Queen followed by a long ball from Williams to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
Tulsa rallied late, scoring once in the sixth inning and twice at the top of the seventh to tie the game before Stewart-Vaughn’s heroics in the bottom half of the seventh.
UH put the first runners on the board, after senior designated player Charese Wyatt singled to center to put the Cougars up 1-0.
The Golden Hurricane responded with a run at the top of the third, but UH responded when Queen slammed yet another home run, her third in as many days, over the center field wall to give the Cougars a 2-1 advantage.
After tying the game in the fourth, a solo home run from Tulsa in the fifth inning proved to be the dagger, as UH could not muster up any more offense at the plate and dropped the series finale 3-2.