UH drops first C-USA series

The Cougars faltered in their first Conference USA series, dropping two of three games against East Carolina last weekend in Greenville, N.C.

Houston (9-11, 1-2 Conference USA) split a doubleheader with the Pirates on Saturday before dropping Sunday’s finale.

Houston pitcher Amanda Crabtree earned her first conference win of the season in the Cougars’ 3-1 victory Saturday, but could not continue that success in Houston’s 5-2 loss Sunday.

Both teams remained scoreless until Houston scored two runs in the fourth inning. Jessica Valis reached base on a one-out single and came home on Jessica Valis’ first home run on the season.

Houston held this advantage until ECU (11-6, 2-1 C-USA) responded with a monstrous five-run fifth inning.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, Baillie Lott replaced Crabtree on the mound. Lott walked ECU’s Jessica Johnson to score Sarah Bibee, who reached on a single. Marina Gusman-Brown hit a double to left field to bring home Kaui Tom and Christina Merrida, who both reached base on walks, to give ECU a 3-2 lead.

Angel Barrella hit a two-RBI single that scored Johnson and Gusman-Brown. Crabtree went back into the game for Lott and induced a ground out from Christen Anoa to end the inning.

Houston’s bats were unable to manufacture, resulting in its first conference series loss since 2007.

Crabtree gave up two hits and three runs and struck out three in six innings Sunday, falling to 5-6 on the season. She pitched a one-hitter in the second game of the series against the Pirates on Saturday to give Houston its only victory of the series.

The Pirates held a 1-0 lead after the second inning, but Houston rebounded with three runs in the fifth inning to take a 3-1 victory. Houston sealed the victory as Crabtree held the Pirates scoreless for the rest of the game.

Lott (4-5) gave up six runs on five hits in six innings of work in the series opener, which Houston dropped 6-2.’

The Cougars continue conference play when they head back to Houston to host Tulsa on Saturday and Sunday at Cougar Softball Stadium. Students are admitted to the games free with a valid Cougar 1Card.

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